Nasal cavity and paranasal (near the nose) sinus cancer is caused when malignant cells develop in the tissue of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. The paranasal sinuses are hollow, air-filled spaces around the bones of the nose. The sinuses make mucus, which keep the nose from drying out while breathing. Nearly 80% of these types of cancer are diagnosed as a form of squamous cell carcinoma.
Nasal Cavity & Paranasal Sinus Cancer Signs & Symptoms
Some environmental factors may cause nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer. Individuals who work with chemicals or in an excessive amount of dust—such as metalworkers, shoemakers, woodworkers, or flour mill/bakery workers—are at a high risk of developing this type of the disease.
Symptoms can include:
Sinus problems. Particularly blocked sinuses that do not clear.
A lump or sore in the mouth that does not heal.
Numbness or tingling in the face.
Swelling or trouble with the eyes, such as double vision.
Pain in the upper part of the mouth or ear.
Nasal Cavity & Paranasal Sinus Cancer Diagnosis
Doctors rely on the following diagnostic tests to determine nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer:
- Physical exam
- X-rays of the head, neck, and chest
- Nasoscopy. During this procedure, the doctor is able to closely examine the inside of the nasal cavity.
Surgery is often done to determine the operability of the mass. Radiation is the most successful treatment for this type of cancer. It is usually given in high doses to prevent a recurrence.
Nasal Cavity & Paranasal Sinus Cancer Outlook
These types of cancer have often metastasized, or spread, by the time they are diagnosed; as a result, they can be difficult to treat. If they are treated successfully, the patient must remain vigilant with follow-up, as these forms of the disease often recur.