Sinus Cancer Do You Have Sinus Infection or Something More Severe?

Published: 26th May 2010
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How Sinus Cancer Develops
It makes sense to doubt how narrow structures in the face would develop cancer. However, not because sinuses are hollow air pockets does it mean that cancer is not possible.

Sinus cancer develops from various sites in the nasal passage. Most commonly, this starts with the cells of mucosal lining of the sinuses. Cancer also develops from the bones surrounding the sinuses and the nasal cavity, although the chance of this happening is very slim.

Types of Sinus Cancer
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of sinus cancer. This forms from the flat cells of the linings of the nasal cavity and the paranasal sinuses called squamous cells, thus the name. 

Other types of sinus cancer are:

Sarcoma - This develops from either the connective tissues or muscles of the nasal cavity and the sinuses.

Melanoma - This forms from the cells that give the skin its color, called melanocytes.

Midline granulomas - This starts particularly from the tissues located in the middle section of the face.

Inverting papilloma - These begin from non-cancerous growths called benign tumors that typically develop inside the nose. Although in general, these do not pose any risks to the person who has them, these sometimes change into cancer.

Symptoms of Sinus Cancer
Sinus cancer has symptoms similar with other types of sinus infection. These include conditions such as acute and chronic nasal congestion, headaches, and pain and pressure that radiate from the locations of the sinuses. What distinguishes sinus cancer apart from the rest of sinus infections are the following symptoms:

- Swelling around the eyes and bulging of the cheeks

- Bulging of the nose

- Ear pressure

- Persistent nosebleeds

- Speech changes or altered speech

- Double or blurry vision

- Facial pain, pain that comes from behind the nose, upper teeth, and pain near and around the - cheekbones

- Numbness of the cheeks, upper lip, the side of the nose, and upper teeth

- Loose upper teeth, bleeding upper teeth, and swollen roof of the mouth

- Excessive tearing

- Lump in the neck

The earliest signs of sinus cancer are nosebleeds that could either be pure blood dripping from the nose or blood-stained mucus. Chronic nasal congestion and tooth pain are also quite common during the initial stage of sinus cancer. However, it is also possible for the cancer to be asymptomatic, meaning there are no symptoms besides the common signs associated with sinus infections.

Symptoms are very much dependent on the site of cancer. If the cancer develops from any nerves connected or situated in the neighboring tissues of the sinuses, numbness, sensations, and pain could erupt from the site. If the cancer affects the tear ducts, tearing is often present. Muscles that are connected to the eyes, when affected by cancer, could produce blurry or double vision. If it affects the upper jaws, loosening of the upper teeth, pain associated with the upper jaw, and other changes to how the teeth move and connect may be observed. Other sinus cancers are large enough to be seen by the naked eye. These cause lumps on the nose, cheeks, and neck.

If you suspect any irregular symptoms of sinus infection, it is highly recommended to seek the advice of a physician right away. These could be signs of cancer, which if not properly addressed, could produce severe chronic health problems.

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