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Sinus and nasal cavity tumors mainly are benign and incapable of spreading to another part of the body. These tumors may occur on either side of the nose and are usually slow growing.
Malignant sinus tumors are rare. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer found in the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. Other malignancies may also be found, such as:
A rare type of polyp called an inverted papilloma usually is found on one side of the nose and can become malignant.
Sinus tumors are often diagnosed late because early symptoms are similar to those found in people diagnosed with acute and chronic sinusitis.
At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for sinus tumors 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:
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about any symptoms you are experiencing.
Symptoms may include:
Your doctor also may want you to have diagnostic tests such as:
These tests will confirm where the tumor is and determine whether it is cancerous.
UPMC's neurosurgical team may recommend a combination of surgical and non-surgical approaches to treat sinus tumors.
Sinus tumors may be approached directly using the 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.
If you need complementary treatments, such as radiation, those therapies can begin soon after EEA surgery.
When evaluating sinus tumors, our neurosurgeons will look at your condition from every direction in order to find the path that is least disruptive to your brain, critical nerves, and ability to return to normal functioning.
Radiation therapy may be used after surgery for a malignant sinus tumor. Radiation can be delivered:
Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells.
Depending on the type and stage of the cancer, chemotherapy may be taken by mouth, given by an injection, or placed directly into the brain tumor site.
Frequent follow-up is required for malignant sinus tumors because of the high rate of developing secondary cancers in the head or neck.
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