Our surgeons are among the most experienced in the world in treating an array of neurosurgical conditions.
Read about the members of our surgical team >
Olfactory neuroblastoma (also known as esthesioneuroblastoma) is a very rare cancer that develops in the upper part of the nasal cavity. It is thought to arise from neural tissue associated with the sense of smell.
Olfactory neuroblastomas generally grow slowly, but in some cases may progress rapidly and aggressively. The faster growing tumors are capable of widespread metastasis.
At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for olfactory neuroblastomas is the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This innovative, minimally invasive technique uses the nose and nasal cavities as natural corridors to access hard-to-reach or previously inoperable tumors. Benefits of EEA include:
To diagnose olfactory neuroblastoma, your doctor will:
The most common symptom of olfactory neuroblastoma is chronic congestion on one side of the nose. This may continue for months or even years before a diagnosis is made.
Other symptoms may include:
Depending upon the size and extent of spread of the tumor, you may also experience:
Your doctor may refer you to a neurologist or an ophthalmologist to check for those concerns.
Surgery, radiation therapy, or a combination of the two are typically used to treat these tumors.
Esthesioneuroblastomas often recur locally and may also spread to other parts of the body. Treatment that is early and aggressive produces the best prognosis.
Olfactory neuroblastoma may be approached directly using Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This state-of-the-art, minimally invasive approach allows surgeons to access the tumor through the natural corridor of the nose, without making an open incision. Surgeons then remove the tumor through the nose and nasal cavities.
EEA offers the benefits of no incisions to heal, no disfigurement, and a faster recovery time.
EEA is appropriate for most olfactory neuroblastomas and is advantageous as it results in fewer complications than an external approach.
If you need complementary treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy, those therapies can begin soon after EEA surgery.
Postoperative radiation therapy has been shown to lower the rate of recurrence.
Chemotherapy may be used in cases involving esthesioneuroblastomas that are recurrent, unresectable (not removable), or metastatic.
How can we help you?
Schedule anappointment >
Ask a question >
Request our expertopinion >
1-877-986-9862(within the U.S.)
When Thomas developed a rare cancer in his sinus cavity, UPMC neurosurgeons acted quickly to remove the mass using the EEA technique.
Read more >
Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by
A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.
For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.
UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.
Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.
For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com