female coughing with a tissue covering her mouth

Any abnormal cell growth inside the sinuses is referred to as sinonasal tumors. These cells generate from the membranes, bones or nerves found in the inner lining of the nose. These might or might not lead to nose cancer. To understand this better, let’s dip into the matter a little deeper. 

Your nose opens into a cavity that is an empty space that turns downward to join the passage from the mouth to the throat. Similar to the nasal cavities, sinuses are also spaces that are found around or near the nose. This actually is congested and fills with mucus and pus causing extreme discomfort. When there is any kind of growth inside the nasal cavity or sinus, we refer to them as sinonasal tumors. Early detection of this type of cancer, can prevent the problem from spreading and turning fatal.

Signs and Symptoms of Nasal and Paranasal Sinus Tumors

Nasal or nose tumors can largely be diagnosed due to the symptoms they show. Without symptoms, diagnosis is quite difficult actually. The visible symptoms of the type of tumors are-

  • Continuous congestion and stuffiness in the nose that neither gets worse nor better
  • Pain above or under the eyes
  • One side of the nose is blocked
  • Drainage in the back of the nose and throat
  • Bleeding from nose
  • Drainage of pus from the noise
  • Less of sense of smell (Also Read: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of Impaired Taste and Smell)
  • Loss of sensation in part of the face as well as teeth
  • Abnormal growth on the face, nose or top of the mouth
  • Water in the eyes
  • Swelling of one of the eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Pain or pressure in one of the ears
  • Loss of hearing
  • Continuous headache
  • Unable to open the mouth properly
  • Lumps in the neck under the skin 

Developing any one of the symptoms or a combination of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean that you have developed nasal cancer. These symptoms can also occur due to other conditions. But you can visit an E.N.T specialist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, just to be sure that it’s not nasal cancer.

Also Read: Link between Sinusitis and Asthma: Effects, Symptoms, and Treatment

What are the risk factors that can cause sinonasal tumors?

This type of tumor can turn cancerous when there are DNA alterations within the cells of the nasal cavity and sinuses. But some factors can increase the chances of damage inside the nose and sinuses. These factors are-

  • Exposing yourself to industrial chemicals for long hours
  • Coming in contact with the human papillomavirus
  • Smoking 
  • Exposing yourself to-

-Dust from wood, textiles or leather industries

-Flour dust

-Nickel dust

-Chromium dust

-Mustard gas

-Fumes from rubbing alcohol, radium, glue, furniture and shoe production 

  • Exposing yourself to harmful air pollutants
  • Using marijuana

Growths inside the nasal cavity and sinuses

Some problems that cause discomfort but due to growths other than nasal cancer are-

  • Nasal polyps

These are benign (not cancer) growths that develop inside the nasal cavity and sinuses. These generally develop due to any inflammation in the nose that is not getting cured. No treatment is required if the polyps are small. For large polyps, the doctors use exams and tests so that they can confirm that the polyps are not cancerous. These might even require surgery to remove them.

  • Papillomas 

These are small growth with rough textures that can grow inside the nasal cavity. This is not cancerous but the risk remains. Hence, E.N.T doctors remove these structures surgically after diagnosis.  

Also Read: How to cure chronic sinus permanently?

What to expect during the diagnosis of sinonasal tumors?

The doctor starts by physically examining the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, face, neck and throat as well as checking the medical history. Followed by this, the doctor conducts an endoscopy of the sinuses to check the size of the tumor and its location. He might also prescribe the following tests-

  • Imaging test of the skulls such as X-Rays, CT scans or MRI
  • Blood tests
  • Biopsy where a small tissue from the tumor is taken to check for signs of cancer 

What is the treatment for sinonasal tumors?

To treat a sinonasal tumor, doctors recommend surgery with radiation therapy. If the cancer is diagnosed in the initial stages, it can be treated with FESS (Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery) to remove the tumor completely. In FESS surgery, the doctors insert an endoscope into the nose which helps the doctor to see inside the sinuses. With the advancement in healthcare, sinus surgeries offer faster recovery with long-lasting results. 

Although there are some side effects that can arise after the surgery such as scarring, pain, nausea, blurry vision, difficulty in chewing, the results are most effective. 

How to prevent sinonasal tumors?

As discussed above, various factors can contribute to the development of cancer. There is no way you can prevent the tumors from developing but you can surely lower the risk. Some of the simple tips you can try to prevent tumors are-

  • Restrict using all kinds of tobacco products
  • Limit exposing yourself to all the factors that can increase the risk of tumors. 

Few more words

A sinonasal tumor may or may not be lead to nasal cancer. If you see any abnormal growth inside the nasal cavity, consult with an E.N.T specialist as soon as possible. The doctors perform FESS surgery to cure any growth insides the sinuses and nasal cavities. Did the article help you answer the question? Drop a comment in the section below if you found the article helpful. 

Also Read: Correlation between a deviated septum and chronic sinusitis!

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