Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer
Possible signs of paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer include sinus problems and nosebleeds.
These and other symptoms may be caused by paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. There may be no symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms may appear as the tumor grows. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following problems:
- Blocked sinuses that do not clear, or sinus pressure.
- Headaches or pain in the sinus areas.
- A runny nose.
- A lump or sore inside the nose that does not heal.
- A lump on the face or roof of the mouth.
- Numbness or tingling in the face.
- Swelling or other trouble with the eyes, such as double vision or the eyes pointing in different directions.
- Pain in the upper teeth, loose teeth, or dentures that no longer fit well.
- Pain or pressure in the ear.
Tests that examine the sinuses and nasal cavity are used to detect (find) and diagnose paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
- Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient's health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
- Physical exam of the nose, face, and neck: An exam in which the doctor looks into the nose with a small, long-handled mirror to check for abnormal areas and checks the face and neck for lumps or swollen lymph nodes.
- X-rays of the head and neck: An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
- Nasoscopy: A procedure to look inside the nose for abnormal areas. A nasoscope is inserted into the nose. A nasoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue samples, which are checked under a microscope for signs of cancer.
- Laryngoscopy: A procedure in which the doctor examines the larynx (voice box) with a mirror or with a laryngoscope (a thin, lighted tube).
- Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer.
Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:
- Where the tumor is in the paranasal sinus or nasal cavity and whether it has spread.
- The size of the tumor.
- The type of cancer.
- The patient's age and general health.
- Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).
Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancers often have spread by the time they are diagnosed and are hard to cure. After treatment, a lifetime of frequent and careful follow-up is important because there is an increased risk of developing a second kind of cancer in the head or neck.