Sinus Cancer (also known as cancer of the paranasal sinus and nasal cavity) occurs when cancer cells are found in the tissues of the paranasal sinuses or nasal cavity. The paranasal sinuses are small hollow spaces around the nose. The sinuses are lined with cells that make mucus, which keeps the nose from drying out; the sinuses are also a space through which the voice can echo to make sounds when a person talks or sings. The nasal cavity is the passageway just behind the nose through which air passes on the way to the throat during breathing. The area inside the nose is called the nasal vestibule.
See your doctor for any of the following problems: * Blocked sinuses that do not clear. * A sinus infection. * Nosebleeds. * A lump or sore that doesn't heal inside the nose. * Frequent headaches or sinus pain. * Swelling or other trouble with the eyes. * Pain in the upper teeth. * Dentures that no longer fit well.
A doctor first examines the nose using a mirror and lights, and sometimes using a rhinoscope or a nasoscope. A CT scan (a type of x-ray using a computer) or an MRI scan (an x-ray-like procedure using magnetic energy) to create an image of the inside of the nose / nasal passages. If abnormal tissue is found, the doctor will cut out a small piece to examine under a microscope, checking for cancer cells (this is called a biopsy).
Three kinds of treatment are used: Surgery. Radiation therapy (using high-dose x-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells). Chemotherapy (using drugs to kill cancer cells). Surgery is most commonly used. Depending on where the cancer is and how far it has spread, bone and/or tissue around the cancer may need to be removed. If the cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the neck, the lymph nodes may be removed. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may be delivered by a machine (external radiation therapy) or by putting materials that produce radiation (radioisotopes) through thin plastic tubes in the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation therapy). Learn more about UMHS Radiation Oncology. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells, and may be taken by pill, or it may be administered by a needle in a vein or muscle. Chemotherapy is called a systemic treatment because the drug enters the bloodstream, travels through the body, and can kill cancer cells throughout the body. Learn more about chemotherapy at the Cancer Center.