Nose and Paranasal Sinus Tumors

Cancerous tumors rarely occur inside the nose (nasal cavity) or in the paranasal sinuses (a group of air-filled spaces near the nasal cavity). Doctors treat only about 2,000 cases in the U.S. each year. 

Scientists don’t know the cause. But we know that people who smoke are more likely to get sinus or nose cancer. So are people who work near certain types of chemicals. Studies show that men are more likely to get nose and sinus tumors than women. The condition is found most often in people who are in their 50s and 60s. 

Any of the cells that make up the layer of mucus-producing tissue in the nose and sinuses can become cancerous. Other types of cells in the nose include bone and cartilage cells that can also become cancerous. Each type of cancer behaves differently.

Treatment

At Penn State Cancer Institute, we diagnose and treat all types of nose and paranasal sinus tumors. Our multidisciplinary team is made up of surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, and pathologists. Together, we guide you through every step of your care.

Our surgeons may treat your nose and sinus tumors with complex or simple surgery, as needed. Your treatment may include radiation and/or chemotherapy as well as medical therapy (taking medication). 

Our surgeons take part in conferences with other cancer specialists. We discuss the specifics of your case and - putting all our skill and experience together - create a treatment plan just for you.

Our advanced surgery techniques include:

If needed, we can also improve your appearance after surgery with state-of-the-art facial reconstruction.

Care Team

You may see one or more of the following specialists for your cancer treatment.
Salah Almokadem, DO, MBChB Salah Almokadem, DO, MBChB Medical Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Melissa Boltz, DO Melissa Boltz, DO Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Karen Choi, MD Karen Choi, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
David Goldenberg, MD, FACS David Goldenberg, MD, FACS Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Diane Hershock, MD, PhD Diane Hershock, MD, PhD Medical Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Jessyka Lighthall, MD Jessyka Lighthall, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Heath Mackley, MD, FACRO Heath Mackley, MD, FACRO Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Marc Rovito, MD Marc Rovito, MD Hematology/Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Brian Saunders, MD Brian Saunders, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Leila Tchelebi, MD Leila Tchelebi, MD Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile

Locations

In our search for better care for cancer, we allow our patients to take part in research studies, called clinical trials. Clinical trials at Penn State Cancer Institute study the newest treatments. Sometimes we test promising new treatments on their own. In other cases, we add a new treatment to our proven care.
It depends on the nature and extent of the cancer. 

If you qualify to take part in one of our studies, your doctor and research nurse will give you all the details. Find a study opportunity.

Penn State Cancer Institute

Penn State Cancer Institute

400 University Dr
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-6585
Penn State Health Medical Group - Nyes Road Specialties

Penn State Health Medical Group - Nyes Road Specialties

121 N Nyes Rd
Suite C
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Phone: 717-657-4045
Penn State Health Medical Group Camp Hill - Specialties

Penn State Health Medical Group Camp Hill - Specialties

3025 Market St
Entrance A
Camp Hill, PA 17011

Phone: 717-761-8900
Penn State Health Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery/Pediatric Surgery

Penn State Health Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery/Pediatric Surgery

200 Campus Dr
Suite 400 | Entrance 2
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-6822

Clinical Trials

Groups, Classes and Support

Support groups offer an opportunity to connect with other patients, caregivers and families. Learn more about support groups offered at Penn State Cancer Institute.

Prevention and Screening

Cancerous nose and paranasal sinus tumors are rare. There is no way to prevent most of these cancers, but you can reduce your risk of getting them.

Prevention

People who make healthy life choices and keep way from harmful chemicals have a better chance of avoiding nose and paranasal sinus tumors. You can:

  • Quit smoking
  • Wear a protective face mask if you work amid toxic fumes and dust
  • Protect yourself against HPV

Screening

There is no screening test to detect nose and paranasal sinus tumors early. However, if you have sinus problems or nosebleeds that don’t get better, it’s important to see your doctor.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Cancerous tumors rarely occur inside the nose (nasal cavity) or in the paranasal sinuses (a group of air-filled spaces near the nasal cavity).

Symptoms

Many types of nose and paranasal sinus tumors don’t cause symptoms. Some are not cancerous. But if they last a long time, some of the following symptoms may mean cancer, including:

  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Nasal congestion that doesn't get better
  • Excess mucus dripping down the back of the throat
  • Pain or numbness in the eyes, jaw, forehead, cheek or nose
  • A visible growth in the face, nose, palate (roof of the mouth) or neck
  • Bulging of one eye, constant watery eyes or change of vision
  • Loose teeth or dentures that no longer fit
  • Pain or pressure in the ear

Diagnosis

Tests to detect paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer include:

If your doctor finds a paranasal sinus or nasal tumor, he or she may conduct tests to find out if the cancer has spread. After successful treatment, careful follow up is important. Your doctor needs to make sure no other head and neck cancer develops.

Nose and Paranasal Sinus Tumors

Cancerous tumors rarely occur inside the nose (nasal cavity) or in the paranasal sinuses (a group of air-filled spaces near the nasal cavity). Doctors treat only about 2,000 cases in the U.S. each year. 

Scientists don’t know the cause. But we know that people who smoke are more likely to get sinus or nose cancer. So are people who work near certain types of chemicals. Studies show that men are more likely to get nose and sinus tumors than women. The condition is found most often in people who are in their 50s and 60s. 

Any of the cells that make up the layer of mucus-producing tissue in the nose and sinuses can become cancerous. Other types of cells in the nose include bone and cartilage cells that can also become cancerous. Each type of cancer behaves differently.

At Penn State Cancer Institute, we diagnose and treat all types of nose and paranasal sinus tumors. Our multidisciplinary team is made up of surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, and pathologists. Together, we guide you through every step of your care.

Our surgeons may treat your nose and sinus tumors with complex or simple surgery, as needed. Your treatment may include radiation and/or chemotherapy as well as medical therapy (taking medication). 

Our surgeons take part in conferences with other cancer specialists. We discuss the specifics of your case and - putting all our skill and experience together - create a treatment plan just for you.

Our advanced surgery techniques include:

If needed, we can also improve your appearance after surgery with state-of-the-art facial reconstruction.

You may see one or more of the following specialists for your cancer treatment.
Salah Almokadem, DO, MBChB Salah Almokadem, DO, MBChB Medical Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Melissa Boltz, DO Melissa Boltz, DO Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Karen Choi, MD Karen Choi, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
David Goldenberg, MD, FACS David Goldenberg, MD, FACS Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Diane Hershock, MD, PhD Diane Hershock, MD, PhD Medical Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Jessyka Lighthall, MD Jessyka Lighthall, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Heath Mackley, MD, FACRO Heath Mackley, MD, FACRO Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Marc Rovito, MD Marc Rovito, MD Hematology/Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Brian Saunders, MD Brian Saunders, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Leila Tchelebi, MD Leila Tchelebi, MD Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile

In our search for better care for cancer, we allow our patients to take part in research studies, called clinical trials. Clinical trials at Penn State Cancer Institute study the newest treatments. Sometimes we test promising new treatments on their own. In other cases, we add a new treatment to our proven care.
It depends on the nature and extent of the cancer. 

If you qualify to take part in one of our studies, your doctor and research nurse will give you all the details. Find a study opportunity.

Penn State Cancer Institute

Penn State Cancer Institute

400 University Dr
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-6585
Penn State Health Medical Group - Nyes Road Specialties

Penn State Health Medical Group - Nyes Road Specialties

121 N Nyes Rd
Suite C
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Phone: 717-657-4045
Penn State Health Medical Group Camp Hill - Specialties

Penn State Health Medical Group Camp Hill - Specialties

3025 Market St
Entrance A
Camp Hill, PA 17011

Phone: 717-761-8900
Penn State Health Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery/Pediatric Surgery

Penn State Health Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery/Pediatric Surgery

200 Campus Dr
Suite 400 | Entrance 2
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-6822
Support groups offer an opportunity to connect with other patients, caregivers and families. Learn more about support groups offered at Penn State Cancer Institute.

Cancerous nose and paranasal sinus tumors are rare. There is no way to prevent most of these cancers, but you can reduce your risk of getting them.

Prevention

People who make healthy life choices and keep way from harmful chemicals have a better chance of avoiding nose and paranasal sinus tumors. You can:

  • Quit smoking
  • Wear a protective face mask if you work amid toxic fumes and dust
  • Protect yourself against HPV

Screening

There is no screening test to detect nose and paranasal sinus tumors early. However, if you have sinus problems or nosebleeds that don’t get better, it’s important to see your doctor.

Cancerous tumors rarely occur inside the nose (nasal cavity) or in the paranasal sinuses (a group of air-filled spaces near the nasal cavity).

Symptoms

Many types of nose and paranasal sinus tumors don’t cause symptoms. Some are not cancerous. But if they last a long time, some of the following symptoms may mean cancer, including:

  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Nasal congestion that doesn't get better
  • Excess mucus dripping down the back of the throat
  • Pain or numbness in the eyes, jaw, forehead, cheek or nose
  • A visible growth in the face, nose, palate (roof of the mouth) or neck
  • Bulging of one eye, constant watery eyes or change of vision
  • Loose teeth or dentures that no longer fit
  • Pain or pressure in the ear

Diagnosis

Tests to detect paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer include:

If your doctor finds a paranasal sinus or nasal tumor, he or she may conduct tests to find out if the cancer has spread. After successful treatment, careful follow up is important. Your doctor needs to make sure no other head and neck cancer develops.