Nasal and paranasal tumors are growths that occur around the passage way of your nasal cavity (your nose) or in the paranasal sinuses, which are air-filled chambers around the nose. They can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). There are several different types and the type that you have will help to determine what kind of treatment will be best for you.
You may have several types of symptoms if you have nasal or paranasal tumors. They can include nosebleeds and persistent sinus problems. At the beginning there may be no symptoms at all but as the tumors grow, symptoms will increase. At the beginning you may notice that your sinuses are always blocked and will not clear and feel a significant amount of sinus pressure.
Headaches and a running nose are common. Lumps or sores that do not heal may occur inside the nose or on the roof of the mouth or even on your face. Tingling or numbness on the face, swelling of the eyes, double vision, dental pain or other dental problems, and ear pressure or pain are other symptoms that you may experience.
While the direct causes of nasal and paranasal tumors are unknown, research has uncovered risk factors that can increase one’s susceptibility to developing one of these tumors. Of particular concern are certain occupations that may regularly expose workers to harmful chemicals and other carcinogens. While cases of nasal and paranasal tumors are rare, research has indicated that one-third of the cases that are reported have been the result of occupational hazards.
Wood and leather dust are among the main elements that contribute to the likelihood of contracting nasal and paranasal tumors, as are the clothing fibers that may contaminate the air in textile plants. Additionally, chemicals, such as chromium, nickel, and formaldehyde, can raise the risk of developing tumors, in circumstances where the individual is regularly exposed to these elements. Mineral oils also pose a risk. These are oils used primarily as lubricants by machinists and engineers.
Nasal and paranasal tumors have different kinds of treatment and the one that is recommended depends on their location and the type of cells that are involved.
Surgery is usually the most common form of treatment. Your doctor may recommend a minimally invasive surgery that allows doctors to remove the tumor with nasal endoscopy. A tiny camera and special tools allow doctors to perform the surgery. Open surgery may also be done by making an incision near your nose or in your mouth.
Radiation therapy uses proton therapy and X-rays to kill the cancerous cells if the tumor is malignant. It may be used by itself or after surgery. Chemotherapy may also be used if the tumor is malignant. It can be used in combination with radiation therapy or on its own.
Finally, palliative care may be considered to help relieve pain and other symptoms. It is care that is provided by a team of health care professionals and is reserved for those who have malignant tumors and need a high degree of support. It is a type of medical care that is offered along with other treatments.
Nasal and paranasal tumors can’t directly be prevented, but, by reducing the impact of risk factors, one can lower the chances of contracting nasal tumors. Already, most manufacturers educate their employees on the safe handling of harmful chemicals and byproducts of the production process. Going hand in hand with that formal training, employers either provide safety equipment or require employees to obtain their own personal protective equipment, such as breathing masks and goggles.
Additionally, smoking cessation can greatly reduce one’s risk of developing nasal and paranasal tumors, as well as a number of other forms of cancer. Otherwise, most risk factors for cancer are unavoidable, as is the case of the human papilloma virus (HPV). In some cases of nasal and paranasal tumors, HPV has been detected, but there’s no way to prevent the virus or reduce its risk. Fortunately, instances of nasal tumors caused by the human papilloma virus are rare.