Nasal and paranasal tumors form in and around the nasal cavity. They are abnormal growths that occur in or around the passageways between the nose and mouth. Nasal tumors are those that begin in the nasal cavity, whereas paranasal are tumors that begin in the paranasal sinuses, the air-filled chambers around the nose. These tumors can be cancerous or noncancerous. There are several types of nasal and paranasal tumors. Treatment for nasal and paranasal tumors varies according to the type of tumor.



In some cases of nasal cavity cancer and paranasal sinus cancer there might not be any symptoms present. These kinds of cancers are usually diagnosed in the later stages of the disease. They are often discovered when treatment for other inflammatory disease is prescribed, such as treatment for sinusitis. Symptoms of nasal and paranasal tumors may include:

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Constant nasal congestion and stuffiness
  • Chronic sinus infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics
  • Frequent pain in the sinus area
  • Common headaches
  • Pain and swelling in the face, eyes and ears
  • Constant tearing
  • Vision loss
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Pain or numbness of the teeth
  • Teeth loosing
  • Lump on the face, nose or inside the mouth
  • Constantly runny nose
  • Sore in the nose that doesn’t heal
  • Experiencing difficulties to open the mouth
  • Lump on the neck


Risk factors

There are two main factors that increase the risk of developing a nasal or paranasal tumor. These include tobacco use and alcohol.

Tobacco use (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff) is the factor that raises the risk for head and neck cancer the most. Almost 85% of head and neck cancers are connected with tobacco use. Secondhand smoke, or smoke that is inhaled, can also increase the risk of developing head and neck cancer.

Alcohol is a great risk factor of head and neck cancer when consumed frequently and excessively.

Alcohol and tobacco in combination increase the risk even more.


Other risk factors of developing nasal cavity cancer or paranasal sinus cancer include:

  • Human papillomavirus
  • Some inhalants from the work environment (substances like: wood, textile, leather industries dust, flour dust, nickel dust, chromium dust, mustard gas, asbestos, rubbing alcohol fumes, radium fumes, solvent fumes that are used in shoe and furniture production)
  • Air pollution
  • Age (most common in people between 45 and 85)



Surgery is the most common treatment for nasal cavity cancers and paranasal sinus cancers. The aim of the surgery is complete removal of the cancer without remaining traces on the healthy tissue. In some cases, the cancer cannot be completely removed with surgery; therefore, further treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, are recommended. A person having nasal or paranasal tumors can undergo several procedures in order to restore the proper functioning and good appearance of the tissue that has been affected.

The type of surgery for nasal and paranasal cancer can be:

  • Excision
  • Maxillectomy
  • Craniofacial resection
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery
  • Neck dissection
  • Reconstructive (plastic) surgery



Some risk factors cannot be evaded. For instance, gender and age cannot be changed. However, there are some that can be avoided. Maybe a person cannot totally prevent tumors from occurring, but he/she can surely reduce the chances of developing one by avoiding these risk factors and changing the lifestyle.

In order to reduce the chances of developing nasal and paranasal tumors people should:

  • Quit tobacco use (the most important thing)
  • Avoid exposure to inhalants and substances known to increase the risk
  • Wear protective mask
  • Put air filters at the work place to reduce industrial-related hazards