Para nasal sinus cancer is a malignancy of the tissues of the para nasal sinuses, i.e., the 4 pockets in the bone surrounding the nasal cavity.
Causes of Para Nasal Sinus Cancer
The exact cause is not yet known, however, certain occupational groups have an increased susceptibility to the disease. People who work in leather and textile mills, nickel refining, those dealing with chromium, radium and isopropyl alcohol are prone to sinus cancer.
Symptoms of Para Nasal Sinus Cancer
• constantly blocked nose
• symptoms of recurring sinus infections
• bleeding from the nose or the para nasal sinuses
• pain and swelling in the eyes and nose
• blurring of the vision
• pain in the cheeks
• swelling in the roof of the mouth
• loosening of teeth, bleeding the teeth
Diagnosis of Para Nasal Sinus Cancer
• The doctor will carry out a physical exam to evaluate the condition.
• A biopsy will be done to ascertain the presence of cancer.
• A CT scan, i.e. a series of detailed pictures are taken and interpreted
• Nasoscopy is done to examine the nasal cavity and the para nasal sinuses.
• In certain cases, a MRI may need to be done to confirm malignancy.
Treatment of Para Nasal Sinus Cancer
Treatment of para nasal sinus cancer comprises of surgical intervention, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The treatment plan depends on the type of malignancy, its spread and the patient’s health condition.
• Surgery: the surgeon will excise the malignant growth and some lymph nodes to prevent a spread and recurrence.
• Radiotherapy: radiotherapy is done all by itself, or in combination with surgery. In the early stages of paranasal sinus cancer, radiotherapy is considered a substitute to surgery. X-ray beams are directed at the tumor site to destroy the cells. Radiation therapy is also used in cases of palliation (advanced cases, no ameliorate the pain). External radiation or teletherapy is done via a machine, or internal radiation or brachytherapy is administered by placing a radio-active device in to the malignant tissue.
• Chemotherapy: chemotherapy drugs are administered to the patient either orally or intravenously. These drugs circulate in the body and destroy the cancer cells effectively. The treatment is given in cycles (each drug or a blend of drugs is given every 3 – 4 weeks).