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Head and Neck CancersNose and Sinus Cancers Signs and Symptoms

Let's Talk About Nose and Sinus Cancers Signs and Symptoms

When is it more than just a sinus infection? We've got the answers to that and everything else you need to know about these rare but dangerous diseases.

    Our Pro PanelNose and Sinus Cancers Signs and Symptoms

    We went to some of the nation's top experts on head and neck cancers to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Salvatore M. Caruana, M.D.

    Salvatore M. Caruana, M.D.Director of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery

    New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia University Medical Center
    New York, NY
    Nadia Mohyuddin, M.D.

    Nadia Mohyuddin, M.D.Head and Neck Surgical Oncologist, Associate Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology

    Houston Methodist Hospital
    Houston, TX
    J. Kenneth Byrd, M.D.

    J. Kenneth Byrd, M.D.Chief of Head and Neck Surgery, Medical Director and Research Director

    Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University
    Augusta, GA

    Frequently Asked QuestionsNose and Sinus Cancers Signs and Symptoms

    I’m prone to nosebleeds—should I worry?

    Monthly nosebleeds are probably NBD, especially if they occur in winter months when heating can dry out the nasal cavity. And if you’re being treated for high blood pressure, or take a daily aspirin or blood thinners, nosebleeds can be a side effect. But if nosebleeds are accompanied by pain, headaches, or vision issues, or appear to be coming from the back of the nose rather than the front near the nostril opening, then you should get it checked out.

    Will I need to have surgery?

    Most people with nose or sinus tumors will need surgery, with the goal of removing the entire tumor while also preserving the surrounding healthy tissue. Ideally this can be done with a minimally invasive approach that leaves no visible scar, but a traditional open surgery may be necessary depending on the size and location of the tumor. Reconstructive surgery may also be needed to repair any defects that were created by removing the tumor.

    Why does sinus cancer cause vision problems?

    Although you make think of sinuses as two pockets on either side of your nose, your paranasal sinuses are comprised of four sets that completely surround your eyes. Tumors in any of these areas can put pressure on the eyes and invade the various structures around them causing excess tearing, swelling, bulging, pain, and double vision or even vision loss.

    Will I be at risk for more cancer after treatment?

    All cancer survivors are at risk for a recurrence down the road, so you’ll be monitored frequently for at least the next five years. You’re also at increased risk for a new, unrelated cancer, as well as soft-tissue sarcomas that develop in fat, muscle, nerves, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, or deep skin tissues anywhere in the body, but most start in the arms or legs.

    Stephanie Wood

    Stephanie Wood

    Stephanie Wood is a award-winning freelance writer and former magazine editor specializing in health, nutrition, wellness, and parenting.