What is nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses cancer?
Nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses cancer forms in the tissues around or near the nose. The mucosa, a mucus-producing tissue, lines the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Any of the cells in the mucosa can develop into cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancers are rare in the United States. Each year, approximately 2,000 people develop the disease, with four out of five cases occurring in individuals over 55 years old. It is more common in men than in women.
What are the different types of nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses cancer?
Nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancers are a form of head and neck cancer. There are several different types of nasal and paranasal cancers, including:
- Squamous cell carcinomas
- Adenoid cystic carcinomas
- Mucoepidermoid cancers
- Undifferentiated carcinomas
Squamous cell carcinomas are the most common nasal and paranasal cancers. Squamous cell carcinomas make up about 50 percent of cancers in the nasal cavity and sinuses.
What are the symptoms of nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses cancer?
Typically, nasal cancers are discovered because they cause a variety of symptoms. Nose cancer symptoms and signs include:
- Congestion or stuffiness in the nose
- Pain around the eyes
- Drainage in the throat
- Blockage on either the left or right side of the nose
- Loss of the sense of smell
- Numbness or pain in the face and/or teeth
- Trouble opening the mouth
- A mass or growth on the face, nose or palate
- Persistent, watery eyes
- Bulging in one eye or loss of vision
- Pressure or pain in one ear
- Hearing loss
- Lumps under the skin of the neck (enlarged lymph nodes)
If you experience uncomfortable, worrisome or persistent symptoms, see your doctor. Many symptoms of nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses cancer are also symptoms of other medical conditions and do not necessarily indicate cancer is present. Talk with your doctor for appropriate testing and treatment.
What are the causes and risk factors of nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses cancer?
Nose cancer causes are still unknown. However, known risk factors may increase a person’s chance of developing the disease, including exposure to certain substances or chemicals in the workplace:
- Wood dust from sawmills and carpentry
- Dust from textiles
- Dusts from shoemaking (leather)
- Dust from chromium or nickel
- Flour in baking or flour milling
- Mustard gas
Additional risk factors may include:
- HPV infection
- Hereditary retinoblastoma (eye cancer)
How is nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses cancer diagnosed and treated?
If your doctor suspects your symptoms may point to nasal cavity or paranasal sinuses cancer, he or she will perform a series of diagnostic tests. To rule out nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses cancer, your doctor may perform the following:
- Physical exam and medical history
- Imaging tests (including x-ray, CT scan, MRI and PET scan)
- Biopsies (such as FNA biopsy, incisional, excisional, endoscopic and open biopsy)
If you are diagnosed with nasal cavity or paranasal sinuses cancer, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Sinus cancer treatment may include a variety of approaches. Depending on the cancer’s stage, surgery may be needed. Common treatments include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and palliative care.
Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinuses Cancer Treatment at Baptist Cancer Center
At Baptist Cancer Center, we put the needs of our patients first. Providing patients and families with the best possible care is important to us, so we offer the supportive services you need, from understanding your nasal cavity cancer diagnosis and our leading-edge treatment options to navigating insurance and financial plans. Our team of medical doctors and specialists is dedicated to designing an individualized treatment plan to help you fight your cancer diagnosis close to home.