A tumor that develops in the nose or sinuses surrounding the nose is called a nasal carcinoma. The cause of these types of tumors is not always known, but some think the cause can be related to smoking or inhaling toxic substances. There are many symptoms that could be related to nasal carcinoma. Some of these include congestion, pain above or below the eye, postnasal drip, numbness, loss of smell, etc.
Patients are often seen by an ears, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor for evaluation. Sometimes the ENT doctor will use a small flexible tube with a light (nasoscope) inserted into the nose to help see the area of concern. X-rays, CT, or MRI may also be performed to evaluate the tumor. A biopsy of the tumor may be taken and sent to a pathologist (a doctor who evaluates body tissues). The pathologist will help determine what type of tumor it is and if it is cancerous (malignant).
Treatment options may involve surgery, radiation, or both. If surgery can be performed, the tumor is accessed and removed. Often radiation is used after surgery to help ensure the cancer does not come back. If the cancer has spread to the patient’s lymph nodes, these can be removed as well. For cancers that are advanced and have spread to other parts of the body, chemotherapy might also be a treatment option in addition to radiation.