Sinus & Nasal Tumors

Tumors of the nasal cavity and sinuses are quite rare and represent less than 1% of all tumors combined.  They can be categorized as benign or malignant and further sub-classified based tissue diagnosis with the aid of a trained pathologist.  Treatment and management is largely dependent on type, extent, location, and staging of the tumor.

How do I know if I have a tumor?

Its important to understand that tumors in this region are quite rare, although they do occur.  Common presenting symptoms include nasal obstruction, nose bleeds, facial sinus pressure, pain, headaches, and loss of sensation in the face or palate region.  Symptoms however may be non specific or absent.  A detailed history and physical examination by a trained ear nose and throat physician is vital for early tumor detection.  When suspicion of tumor arises imaging studies such as CT, MRI, or PET scan are often required to evaluate the extent of tumor growth and/or spread.  Obtaining a tissue biopsy is also required to classify the tumor type.

How are tumors treated in this region?

Treatment of tumors involving the nasal and sinus cavity are tailored towards the type and stage of the tumor.  Early stage benign tumors can often be managed with surgical intervention alone. Surgery may involve an open (with incisions) or endoscopic (usually no incisions) approach.  Most early stage tumors can be treated endoscopically with high reported success rates of cure.  Advanced stage tumors or malignant tumors often require a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment involving multiple physicians from a variety of subspecialties such as medical oncology, radiation oncology, ophthalmology, and neurosurgery in addition to your ear nose and throat doctor.  Management for these advance tumors may require treatment with radiation or chemotherapy.

My cancer is cured.  Now what?

It is important to remember that all tumors carry a risk of recurrence which is greatest in the first three to five years following treatment.  Close monitoring with frequent office visits during this time period is critical.  Imaging studies are usually repeated at set intervals to enhance detection rates.  Be mindful of any changes in symptoms such as recurrent or persistent nose bleeds, pain, or nasal obstruction. Early diagnosis of tumor recurrence leads to better longterm outcomes and prognosis.

Being diagnosed with a tumor is a life altering moment.  Our goal is to be with you every step of the way and ensure we provide you with excellent medical care, remembering that we are treating a “person” and not just a patient.  Feel free to call our offices with any questions.