When abnormal growth happens in the nose and sinuses, it’s a medical concern that can lead to a variety of complications. Nasal tumors can develop in the nose, or paranasal tumors can occur in the sinuses (air-filled chambers near the nose).
The good news is that many growths in the nose are noncancerous. However, even though they don’t contain cancerous cells, it’s still important to work with a doctor for treatment and removal options.
An ENT can help you identify the type of growth you have, then determine the ideal treatment option to aid in your recovery.
Symptoms and Signs of Tumors and Cysts
Both nasal and paranasal tumors can cause a variety of symptoms, such as:
- Trouble breathing through the nose
- Chronic nosebleeds
- Watering eyes
- Loss of smell
- Nasal discharge
- Change in vision
- Lump in the neck
- Pain or swelling in the facial area
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Lesions or sores on the roof of the mouth
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it might be time to talk to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment options.
Nasal Cysts and Tumors: Causes and Risk Factors
These cysts and tumors occur because healthy, normal cells have a genetic mutation that causes the growth of abnormal cells. When the cells are healthy, they have a steady growth rate, and cell death occurs at a similar rate.
On the other hand, abnormal cells start to grow out of control because of the rate at which they are replicating. When this happens, an unusual tumor or cyst forms.
Risk factors for nasal tumors and cysts include:
- Smoking or being around second-hand smoke
- HPV infection
- Exposure to air irritants or chemicals, such as dust, glue, fumes, formaldehyde, etc.
- Air pollution
- Chronic nasal inflammation
- Cystic fibrosis
- Family history
Avoiding Complications from Nasal Growths
These growths might start small, but they can lead to complications when left untreated. As the cyst or tumor gets bigger, it can result in issues such as:
- Chronic Sinus Infections: The growth(s) block drainage from the sinus cavities. When the sinuses are congested, it creates the ideal conditions for the development of infection. Patients with untreated nasal growths often have recurring sinus infections.
- Asthma Flare-Ups: Chronic sinusitis caused by nasal growths can increase the frequency and severity of asthma flare-ups.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The growths in the nose can block the breathing passages while sleeping. As a result, the patient starts and stops frequently breathing throughout the night.
Treatment Solutions for Nasal Cysts and Tumors
Most patients feel relieved to know that most tumors and cysts in the nasal passages are noncancerous. Only an estimated 2,000 patients are diagnosed with nasal or sinus cancer annually in the United States.
Even if the growths aren’t cancerous, it’s still important to talk to an ENT about treatment options to avoid complications. Treatment options include:
- Corticosteroid Spray: Polyps and cysts can sometimes be reduced or eliminated using a corticosteroid nasal spray. Applying the medication to the internal parts of the nose helps to reduce irritation and swelling.
- Injectable or Oral Corticosteroids: Other types of steroid treatments are given as injections or oral pills. These treatments are often the next step to try if the nasal spray isn’t effective. However, steroids only provide temporary relief and shouldn’t be used for ongoing treatments.
- Surgery: Small cysts and tumors can be removed using endoscopic tools. This minimally invasive approach goes through the nose openings without a need to cut into the skin. Surgery is recommended for nasal tumors and cysts that aren’t responding to other treatments.
When surgery is used to remove cancerous nasal tumors, it’s important for the surgeon to remove enough tissue for clean margins. Additionally, your doctor might recommend post-surgery cancer treatments, such as radiation and/or chemotherapy.
What to Expect During Nasal Surgery to Remove an Abnormal Growth
Technology has improved the process, making it easier than ever to remove these growths. The doctor will insert an endoscopic tool into the nose during the surgery. There is a small camera or magnifying lens at the end to give the surgeon a view of the inside of your nose and sinus cavities.
If the tumor is large or a cancerous growth, then a more invasive surgery might be necessary. The surgeon will determine the ideal method based on the severity of your condition and the location of the growth.
Sometimes, it is necessary to remove a portion of your bone, hard palate, or other surrounding tissues that are affected by the cancerous growth. Additionally, lymph node removal might be necessary if the tumor growth spreads to the neck.
During this procedure, the surgeon is careful to only remove necessary tissue. This is because there are many important structures within the nasal and sinus cavities, such as nerves, muscles, and blood vessels, that can affect function and appearance. The goal is to allow you to talk, chew, breathe, and swallow normally after the surgery.
Tips to Prepare for Nasal Surgery
If you are undergoing surgery to remove nasal cysts or tumors, then follow these recommendations to prepare for your treatment:
- Follow all pre-surgery instructions, including fasting if you are going to be under anesthesia
- Bring a family member or friend who can drive you home after the procedure
- Talk to the doctor about medications you are currently taking, including supplements and over-the-counter drugs
- Avoid alcohol consumption a few days before the surgery
- Stop smoking
- Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing on the day of the surgery
- Don’t wear any metal objects, such as jewelry or body piercings
- Avoid the use of personal care products on the day of the surgery, such as makeup, perfume, facial creams, etc.
Nasal Cyst Treatment for People of All Ages
The risk of nasal cysts and tumors goes up with age, but there are times when these medical conditions can affect children. Regardless of your age, our Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat team can assist with diagnosis and treatment.
We offer services for adults, as well as pediatric ENT solutions for infants and children. In addition, our full-service medical clinics provide a convenient way for you to access diagnostic and treatment solutions for the entire family.
Talk to an ENT About Cysts and Tumors in the Nose
If you suspect a cyst or tumor, it’s essential to schedule a consultation without delay. We’ll perform a thorough examination to evaluate your condition, rule out serious health concerns, and design a treatment plan.
We offer ENT services for families in the Collin County and Dallas areas. Talk to us at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat to schedule a consultation at a convenient office located in Frisco or Plano, TX. Complete this online form for an appointment request, or call us at (972) 596-4005.