What are the symptoms of sinus cancer?

What are the symptoms of sinus cancer?

Symptoms of sinus cancer often affect one side of the face and are similar to other more common conditions such as allergic rhinitis. Sinus cancer is rare, accounting for only 3-5% of all head and neck cancers. This article describes sinus cancer, its symptoms, signs, and more.

Are there early symptoms of sinus cancer?

A 2021 paper claims that there may be no symptoms in the early stages of sinus cancer. Signs and symptoms begin to appear as the tumor grows. Some sinus cancer symptoms are similar to those of a cold or other infection, meaning people may miss them.

The most common symptoms of sinus cancer are:

– stuffy nose that doesn’t go away
– nose bleeding
– reduced sense of smell
– nasal mucus that may be bloody
– postnasal drip, that is the flow of mucus in the back of the nose and throat.
If a person is concerned about their symptoms, they should contact a doctor.

At what stage is a person most likely to notice symptoms of sinus cancer?

Sinus cancer is unlikely to be large enough to cause symptoms until it has spread to other parts of the body. In stage III, the cancer is beginning to spread and move, and this is when it is most likely to cause noticeable symptoms.


Sinus cancer can cause symptoms that affect the nose and eyes.

Nasal symptoms

Sinus cancer can cause:

– stuffy nose on one side of the nose that won’t go away
– nose bleeding
– reduced sense of smell
– nasal mucus that may be bloody
– dripping in the nose
– discharge of pus from the nose
Nasal congestion or even complete obstruction that affects one side of the nose and does not go away is one of the most common symptoms of sinus cancer.

Eye symptoms

Sinus cancer can cause the following symptoms:

– complete or partial loss of vision
– swelling of one eye
– double vision
– pain above or below the eye
– constant tearing
– swelling of the conjunctiva, which is the tissue that covers the white of the eye.

Other symptoms

Other symptoms are as follows

movable teeth
pain or pressure affecting one of the ears
difficulty opening the mouth
a bump or growth that can develop anywhere on the face
facial pain or numbness that does not go away
swollen lymph nodes in the neck
hearing loss


To diagnose sinus cancer, a doctor takes a person’s medical history and performs a physical exam. During the physical exam, he or she will check for:

head and neck including nose
numbness, swelling, pain and firmness of the face
lymph nodes to see if they are swollen
eyes to check vision changes
facial symmetry.

If they suspect cancer, they will refer the person to an otolaryngologist. These doctors specialize in diseases of the ears, nose and throat. An otolaryngologist performs an indirect endoscopy. He uses a headlamp and small mirrors to examine the nose, throat, mouth and tongue.

He may also order one or more of the following imaging tests:

computed tomography (CT)
X-ray of the face
bone scan
PET scan
In addition to imaging tests, an otolaryngologist may order a biopsy. A biopsy involves removing a small piece of tissue to look for cancer. A doctor may order a biopsy of several types, including the following:

fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNA)
endoscopic or open biopsy
incisional and excisional biopsies, which are minor surgical procedures to remove part or all of the tumor.

They may arrange for further tests to assess how the tumor may affect the person. They may include:

speech tests
blood tests
heart tests
hearing tests

Outlook and survival rate

Relative survival rates help give an idea of ​​how long someone with a particular disease will live after being diagnosed, compared to people without the disease.
For example, if the 5-year relative survival rate is 70%, a person with the disease has a 70% chance of living 5 years than someone without the disease. It is important to note that these numbers are estimates. A person can consult a doctor to find out how his illness will affect him.

Several factors affect a person’s outlook, including

tumor size
stage of cancer
general health
a person’s response to treatment.

The 5-year survival rates for sinus cancer are as follows:

5-year relative survival stage
localized 85
regional 52
a distant 42%.
all phases together 58%.

When to contact a doctor

Many of the symptoms associated with sinus cancer are the same or similar to many benign conditions that affect the nasal passages. A person is more likely to have a benign disease than cancer. However, if symptoms worsen or persist, one should see a doctor.


Sinus cancer is a rare form of cancer. It causes symptoms similar to several different mild conditions, which can make early detection based on symptoms difficult. The most common symptoms are nasal obstruction affecting one side of the face, nosebleeds, reduced sense of smell, postnasal drip, and runny nose.

* Presse Santé strives to convey knowledge about health in a language accessible to all. IN NO CIRCUMSTANCES can the information provided replace the advice of a medical professional.

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