Generally, Maxillary sinus cancer is a squamous cell carcinoma, meaning it develops from the thin, flat cells in the epidermis lining the maxillary sinus.
Causes for Maxillary Sinus Cancer
• People exposed to isopropyl oils, mustard gas, volatile hydro-carbons, or chromium /nickel have an increased risk of developing maxillary sinus cancer.
• Additionally, a past exposure to a long acting radio-active chemical called Thorotrast is thought to raise the risk of developing the cancer.
• Chronic sinusitis increases the danger of developing the condition.
• Tobacco has been proved to be an important cause, although tobacco’s role in para nasal cancers is unclear.
Maxillary Sinus Cancer Symptoms
Common maxillary sinus cancer symptoms are:
• chronic nose block
• heaviness in the face, face pain
• frequent sinusitis
• bleeding from the nose
• swelling in the face
• blurred vision
• loosening of the teeth
Maxillary Sinus Cancer Diagnosis
• The doctor takes a detailed medical and occupational history and conducts a physical examination.
• Biopsy of the lesion will be carried out to determine the exact cause
• The doctor conducts a nasoscopy, to review the nasal cavity and the para nasal sinuses.
• CT scans and / or MRI may be recommended to inspect the structures suitably.
Treatment of Maxillary Sinus Cancer
The treatment for maxillary sinus cancer comprises of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The treatment regimen is based on the stage of the disease, extent of spread, the patient’s age and his health condition.
• Surgery: the tumor growth will be excised out. Also, some amount of the surrounding healthy tissue and the nearby lymph nodes will be removed to prevent recurrences and spread.
• Radiation therapy: high powered X-ray beams are directed at the tumor. Radiotherapy may be used singly / in conjunct with surgery and chemotherapy. It is made use of in advanced cases as a palliative measure. Teletherapy / external radiation may be done using a machine; or brachytherapy / internal radiation may be done by placing a radioactive source in the tumor. Generally, radiotherapy is administered for 10 minutes daily, 5 days a week for 6 weeks.
• Chemotherapy: is usually done in stages 3 and 4. It consists of administration of drugs orally / intravenously. These drugs pass through the blood and wipe out the cancer cells efficiently. The treatment is given in cycles; one drug is given separately, or a combination of drugs may be administered every 3 – 4 weeks.