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RW Armstrong, MJ Armstrong, MS Lye
Correspondence: Prof R W Armstrong
Aim of Study With a five-year survival rate of 20% in 1970 and 40-45% in 1990, and highest incidence and mortality in early and middle adult years, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) may have a severe social impact on families and households. The aim of this study was to measure the social impact of NPC in the Chinese population of Selangor, Malaysia.
Method Cases were pooled from three epidemiological case-control studies conducted in 1973-74, 1980, and 1990-92 for a total of 442. They lived in households with a grand total of 2,598 persons. Interviewers collected data on household composition: number of residents; each resident's age, sex, occupation, and relationship to the head of the household; and position of the NPC case in the household.
Results Ninety-four percent of cases supported 93% of household members in some way. Most cases were employed as income earners or homemakers and 80% had a key role as head of household and/or parent of dependent children.
Conclusion The illness and death caused by NPC had a major social impact on immediate families and on extended family and non-kin households as well.
Keywords: nasopharyngeal cancer, Malaysian Chinese, social impact, household organisation
Singapore Med J 2000; 41(12): 582-587