Nose Cancer The nose contains various types of cells in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Abnormal or excessive growth in these cells may lead to nose cancer. Nose cancer is commonly known as nasal cancer, which includes sinus cancer. Different types of cancer can develop in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses from the various types of cells. Among the most common types of nose cancer are squamous cell carcinomas of the nasal cavity and the internal sinuses, and adenocarcinoma (arising from the small glands in the internal sinuses).
Types of Nose Cancer
The nose contains many types of tissue, and each tissue contains many types of cells. The nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses are lined by a layer of mucus-producing tissue that contains the following types of cells:
Squamous epithelial cells
Minor salivary gland cells
Infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes
Blood vessel cells
The types of cancer that may develop from these cells include:
Squamous cell carcinoma
This is the most common type of nose cancer.
This is the second most common type of nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer. It begins in gland cells.
Melanoma develops from cells called melanocytes that give color to the skin. It is usually an invasive, fast-growing cancer.
These are benign, wart-like growths that may develop into squamous cell carcinoma.
This type of cancer is related to the nerves that control the sense of smell. It occurs on the roof of the nasal cavity.
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. Lymphoma may develop in the lymphoid tissue found in the lining of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses.
Sarcoma is a type of cancer that begins in the muscle, connective tissue, or bone.
Risk factors of Nose Cancer
Factors that increase the risk of nose cancer include:
Smoking: Individuals who smoke and those who have previously smoked are more likely to develop nasal and paranasal sinus cancer than those who have never smoked.
Alcohol consumption: Consumption of alcohol for many years increases the risk of getting nasal and paranasal sinus cancer, especially when combined with smoking.
Chemical exposure: Some chemicals or dust may cause cancer. These include wood dust, leather dust, chromium, nickel, heavy metal exposure, formaldehyde, cloth fibers, and more. Gender: Nose cancer is more common in men than women.
Age: Individuals aged 45 and older are most likely to develop nasal and paranasal sinus cancer.
Causes of Nose Cancer
Although the exact cause of nasal cancer is unknown. It can arise due to various inherited or acquired factors that may cause mutations in the DNA of the cells. Several risk factors may increase the chances of getting nose cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Nose Cancer
There are different signs and symptoms associated with nose cancer depending on the location, size, and extent of the disease. The following are some common signs and symptoms:
Reduced or loss of sense of smell
Bleeding in the nose, particularly from one side
Clogged or congested nose
Pain in the inside of the nose, mouth, or the face
Discomfort in the sinuses
Numbness or tingling in the face
Vision disturbances - swelling, double vision, complete or partial loss of sight, or watery eyes
Loose teeth (or dentures)
Pain or pressure in the ear
Some cases of nasal or paranasal sinus carcinoma can occur without any symptoms. However, it is advisable to consult your physician if these symptoms persist for longer than a few weeks.
Diagnosis and Tests of Nose Cancer
The initial diagnosis of nose cancer is determined by the medical history, signs, symptoms, and physical examination of the patient, followed by imaging, tests, and/or biopsy. A nose cancer can be diagnosed with the following diagnostic procedures:
Nasoendoscopy: For this, your doctor will use a thin, flexible tube with a tiny light and camera on it.
Biopsy: Using a microscope, a small piece (sample) of cancer is examined for cancer cells. This is one of the best ways of determining whether you have cancer. Your doctor may suggest an incision biopsy or a needle biopsy.
CT Scan: During a CT scan, your doctor can see where cancer is located, its size, and whether it has spread to other organs or parts of the body.
MRI Scan: It is an imaging tool that uses magnetic fields to produce images of soft tissues inside the body.
PET Scan: In this test, radioactive material is used to determine if cancer has spread farther than the nasal cavity or paranasal sinus.
Treatment and Care for Nose Cancer
The treatment for nose cancer may include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these. The malignancy is removed from the nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, and, in certain cases, the lymph glands in the neck during surgery. Some patients may require further therapy following surgery to lower the chance of cancer recurrence. This can include radiation therapy alone (adjuvant radiation therapy) or radiation therapy along with chemotherapy (adjuvant concurrent chemoradiation).
Several surgical procedures are available for nose cancer. Based on the size, type, and location of nasal cancer, the appropriate surgical procedure will be chosen. The various types of surgical procedures are endoscopic surgery, craniofacial resection, neck dissection, and reconstructive surgery.
The most common radiation therapy approach for nose cancer is called external beam radiation. Radiation therapy applies radiation from outside the body, which can be used as a single procedure or in combination with chemotherapy. It is sometimes used as an adjunct therapy after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Chemotherapy works by killing or damaging cancer cells. For nasal and paranasal sinus cancers, it is usually given in the vein via a needle with a cannula (tube) attached. The medical oncologist will decide on one or more chemotherapy medications before starting the treatment, which will be the best to treat the cancer type.