What Are the Symptoms of Nasal Cavity Cancer or Sinus Cancer?


Quick Answer

Symptoms of nasal cavity cancer and paranasal sinus cancer include chronic congestion, recurring infections of the sinuses, headaches and recurring nosebleeds, according to Cancer.net. While many of these symptoms can be caused by noncancerous illnesses and infections, it is important to consult with a physician if symptoms are persistent.

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Individuals with nasal cavity cancer or paranasal sinus cancer may also experience symptoms such as facial tingling, ill-fitting dentures, ear pressure and nasal discharge, explains the National Cancer Institute. Tests utilized to detect the cancers include biopsies, physical examinations, X-ray procedures and nasoscopy procedures in which a physician inserts a lighted instrument into the nose and examines the nasal passages.

While there are several types of nasal cavity cancers and paranasal sinus cancers, the most common form of the disease is squamous cell carcinoma, a tumor that develops in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinus linings, explains WebMD. Less common types of cancers include melanomas that develop in the skin and sarcomas that develop in the muscles.

Although the specific cause of nasal cavity cancers and paranasal sinus cancer is not known, factors that can put individuals at higher risk for the disease include cigarette smoking, outdoor air pollution and continual exposure to wood dust, according to Macmillan Cancer Support. Treatments for the condition depend on the stage of the cancer and can include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

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