Your sinuses are hollow spaces behind your cheeks and forehead. These spaces connect to your nose.
Locating the Sinuses
What is sinus cancer?
Sinus cancer is cancer that grows in your sinuses. It usually happens in the sinuses right beside your nose or behind the bridge of your nose (the maxillary and ethmoid sinuses).
Sinus cancer happens most often in people from Japan and South Africa—it’s rare in other groups
Doctors don’t know what causes sinus cancer but think it may be related to breathing in certain types of wood and metal dust—it isn’t caused by sinus infections
You may not have symptoms until the cancer has grown and pushes on other structures
To treat sinus cancer, doctors do surgery and radiation therapy
What are the symptoms of sinus cancer?
The sinuses have empty space in which cancer can grow without pressing on anything. For this reason, you may not have any symptoms at first.
Once the cancer has grown larger, you may have symptoms such as:
Pain or numbness and tingling in your face
Feeling like your nose is blocked
Having a runny nose
Double vision (when you see two of the same object)
Loose upper teeth
How can doctors tell if I have sinus cancer?
Doctors will look inside your sinuses by putting a flexible viewing tube through your nose and into your sinuses. They may do a biopsy. With a biopsy, they remove a sample of tissue to look at under a microscope.
Doctors will do tests to see how big your cancer is and whether it has spread to other parts of your body: They'll do this using:
How do doctors treat sinus cancer?
Doctors will usually do:
Surgery to remove the tumor
Sometimes radiation therapy Radiation Therapy for Cancer Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses beams of radiation to destroy cancer cells and shrink cancer tumors. Doctors use radiation to treat many types of cancer, including head, neck... read more if there's a good chance the cancer might come back
Sometimes surgery changes the shape or look of your face. Doctors will use the latest methods to keep the way you look as unchanged as possible.
If doctors don't think surgery can be done safely, they'll give you radiation therapy Radiation Therapy for Cancer Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses beams of radiation to destroy cancer cells and shrink cancer tumors. Doctors use radiation to treat many types of cancer, including head, neck... read more plus chemotherapy Chemotherapy Chemotherapy is a drug that destroys cancer cells. Chemotherapy works by shutting down cell growth. But since all cells in the body grow, chemotherapy drugs also destroy some normal cells and... read more .
Radiation to your sinuses may cause:
Loss of taste
Trouble swallowing and speaking
Dental problems, if your teeth were exposed to radiation