Sinus Cancer Symptoms

Sinuses are ai???air pocketsai??? in the bones of the face. They are lined with a tissue known as mucosa.

Sinus cancer occurs when the mucosa becomes cancerous or malignant. In rare case the bone itself can be the source of the cancer.

The symptoms of sinus cancers may be very subtle and they can be so latent that the patient may ignore them for a very long time.

Some of the common early symptoms of sinus cancer are:

  • Nose bleeds which may be either blood-streaked nasal mucus or recurrent gushers of the blood.
  • Persistently obstructed or stuffy nose
  • Pus coming out of the nose or runny nose which can be frequent
  • Decrease in the sense of smell
  • Excessive coughing in the night
  • Tooth pain
  • Sneezing
  • Headache

In the advanced stage of sinus cancer the several symptoms can be seen considering the effect of cancer on the adjacent tissues of the sinus:

  • If the cancer invades the nerve supplying cheek then it may result in numbness of the cheek.
  • Excessive and continuous tearing can occur if the cancer presses on the tear duct.
  • Blurry vision and double vision can occur if the cancer invades the muscles of the eye. Eyes become sensitive to light and the eyelids may swell.
  • Loss of hearing occurs if the Eustachian tube is invaded by the cancer.
  • If the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes in the neck then one can see the enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.
  • The upper teeth may get loosened and there can be change in the way the teeth meet when the jaws are closed.
  • In extreme case there might be an asymmetric bulge of the cheek or nose.

Other Symptoms of Sinus Cancer are:

  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Altered speech
  • Facial pain
  • Facial swelling
  • Pain behind the nose
  • Persistently blocked sinuses
  • Numb upper teeth
  • Numb upper lip
  • Loose upper teeth
  • Numb side of nose
  • Pain near cheekbones
  • Forehead pain
  • Swollen roof of mouth
  • Nose bulge
  • Sensation of ear pressure
  • Bleeding of upper teeth

Facts and Statistics on Sinus Cancer:

  • 1 in 100,000 in the United States get affected with this rare form of cancer.
  • Any disease which affects less than 200000 people in this country is considered to be rare by the Office of Rare Diseases, National Institute of Health (NIH).
  • Nearly 200 new cases of sinus cancer are diagnosed every year in this country.
  • Men belonging to the age group of 50-70 years are two-three times more at risk of developing this disease than women.
  • There are three types of sinus cancers. They are cancers of the maxillary sinus, tumors of the ethmoidal sinuses and tumors of the sphenoidal and frontal sinuses.
S.No. Type of Sinus Cancer Percentage of Individuals Affected
Maxillary sinus cancer
Tumors of the ethmoidal sinuses
Less than 20
Tumors of the sphenoidal and frontal sinuses
Less than 1
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the most frequent type of malignant tumor of the sinus accounting for 80 percent of the tumors of this type of cancer.
  • Adenocarcinomas constitute 15 percent of the sinus cancer tumors.
  • 5 percent tumors of sinus cancer belong to less known classes.
  • These tumors of the sinus can spread even to the lymph nodes of 15 percent affected patients.
  • The type and location of the tumor along with the stage of cancer can alter the symptoms of this disease.

1 response to Sinus Cancer Symptoms

  1. Wow. All I can say is that’s crazy. Most people don’t think of the sinus when they think about cancer. I guess it’s just not as common as some of the other ones though, like liver cancer, lung cancer, or breast cancer. Great article (I love learning about medicine).

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