Sinus & Allergy

Treating Nasal and Sinus Tumors

written by Becki Andrus
Treating Nasal and Sinus Tumors

The diagnosis of any type of cancer or tumor can be a life-changing moment for a patient. Even people with the healthiest lifestyles experience unexplained developments of cancer and tumors. Because of the aggressive nature of these growths, it’s essential to be proactive in the treatment plan.

Rest assured, knowing that the presence of a growth doesn’t necessarily mean that you have cancer. Nasal and sinus tumors can be malignant (cancerous) and benign (noncancerous). Your doctor can help you identify the type of tumor you have, then determine the proper treatment plan.

Your Experienced Medical Team for Tumor Treatment

It’s crucial that you talk to multiple medical specialists and carefully evaluate your choices. While there are recommended treatments for each condition, every individual is unique. It would help if you looked at the severity of your situation and weighed the benefits of treatment against the potential side effects and risks.

Luckily, we live in a time when many modern medical advances provide a full range of treatment options. Depending on your stage of cancer and overall health, our team will help you identify the best pathway forward.

Not only do we offer ear, nose, and throat services, but we’ll gladly partner with your other medical providers. This process enables us to identify the full-picture plan that will protect your health and improve the long-term outcome.

What are Nasal and Sinus Tumors?

These abnormal growths occur in the nasal cavity, located inside your nose. Nasal tumors start in the nasal cavity, while paranasal tumors begin in the sinuses. As mentioned above, these growths can be either cancerous or benign.

The presence of these tumors means that healthy, normal cells were changed through genetic mutations. Typically, healthy cells multiply, grow, and die at a consistent rate. But abnormal cells start to multiply out of control and don’t die, causing a mass of cells to accumulate.

When nasal or sinus tumors are present, you might experience some or all of these symptoms:

  • Loss of smell
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Facial pain or swelling
  • Vision problems
  • A lump in the neck or face
  • Unusual nasal discharge
  • Lesions or sores on the roof of the mouth

If any of these symptoms are persistent, then it’s best to talk to your doctor for a diagnosis. This diagnostic process identifies the underlying health concerns. Then, our team of experienced ENTs can design a personalized treatment plan for your needs.

Factors Increasing the Risk of Nasal Tumors

Sometimes, these tumors occur without a known cause or reason. Often, patients have certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of tumor growth:

  • Smoking
  • Breathing secondhand smoke
  • Chemical exposure in the air
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection

Many of these factors can be prevented to reduce the likelihood of tumor growth. For example, protect yourself when in the presence of harmful fumes by wearing a face mask. Also, stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible.

Diagnosis of Nasal Tumors

If nasal or sinus tumors are suspected, the diagnosis process is reasonably straightforward. Your ENT might recommend these tests:

  • Endoscopic Camera: A small camera can be inserted through the nasal openings to see the inside of the nose and sinuses. This thin tube has a light to illuminate the area, then send pictures to a computer monitor for the doctor to view.
  • Biopsy: When abnormalities are identified in the nasal endoscopy, then it’s recommended that tissue samples be collected. A lab can test the samples to identify potential cellular mutations.
  • Imaging: Digital pictures can be captured to view the structure of your nasal cavity. Standard imaging techniques include an MRI and/or a CT scan.
  • Blood Tests: Blood samples can be tested for cancer markers if needed.

Nasal Tumor Treatments to Discuss with Your ENT

After diagnosis, it’s important to discuss all treatment options before you decide on the right pathway forward. Your ENT doctor will offer advice and recommendations that best fit your needs.

It’s common for patients to have various types of doctors on their treatment team: an ear, nose, and throat specialist, an oncologist, and sometimes a neurosurgeon.

Potential treatment options might include:

  • Surgery: This treatment aims to remove the tumor while preserving your function and face as much as possible.
  • Chemotherapy: Medical treatments that destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is often recommended for cancers that could return in the future.
  • Radiation Therapy: Sometimes, radiation can help by shrinking the tumor before the surgery. Or, it is recommended after to destroy remaining cancer cells that couldn’t be removed surgically.

Often, a combination of these treatments is recommended to remove and kill all cancer cells. For example, radiation might be used before or after a surgical procedure. If the tumors are diagnosed in the early stages, then surgery might be the only necessary treatment.

Surgical Treatments for Nasal Tumors

Typically, surgery will be part of the treatment plan to remove the area affected by the tumor(s). If surgery is needed, then the doctor will determine the type of surgery based on the severity of the condition:

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery: If the surgeon can access the tumor through the opening of the nose, then a nasal endoscopy and special tools can be used to operate without a facial incision.
  • Open Surgery: Sometimes, the best way to access the affected area is with a small incision. The surgeon will carefully cut near your mouth or nose to reach the site where the tumor needs to be removed.

Since these tumors are located near sensitive structures in the head, the surgeon is careful to minimize damage in the surrounding areas. These tumors can not only affect the nasal passages and sinuses, but they can also impact the eyes, brain, and nerves in the head and facial areas.

Talk to an ENT about Early Treatment

In the beginning stages, you might not be aware of the growth occurring in your nasal and sinus passages. As the tumor spreads, then more symptoms will be noticed.

The sooner you are diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome will be in the future. It’s easier to stop the growth and treat it in the early stages instead of waiting for severe symptoms to occur.

Delaying treatment could potentially result in the spread of abnormal cells and result in more invasive treatments later on. If you suspect that you might have abnormal growths, then it’s always best to talk to a doctor right away.

While potential complications can occur from these treatments, it’s essential to identify the optimal treatment path for minimizing cancer issues in the future. Our goal is to remove the abnormal growths while also protecting you against potential side effects and future health concerns.

For more information about these treatments, please schedule an appointment with our experienced team as soon as possible. We offer ENT services for patients near Dallas or Collin County. Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat can assist with everything from minor medical concerns to serious conditions.

Contact us to schedule an exam at one of our convenient offices, located in Frisco and Plano, TX. You can use our online form if you’d like to book an appointment. Or schedule an exam by calling our office at (972) 596-4005.

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We find our patients’ experiences the most rewarding part of the job. Without them, we wouldn’t be one of the longest standing ENT practices in the area!

“This was my first time visiting this office. These folks were super friendly!! Starting with the front desk to all the help in the back, the Dr. Littlejohn was very patient and listened to all my concerns. I dealt with 5 people total due to testing and they all were genuinely nice! Loved it, and not to mention quick service. Great customer service, I’ll be sure to refer family and friends! ”

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“I have used Collin Co. ENT and Dr. Kenny Carter for over 3 years, primarily for ear problems. The staff has been consistently helpful and friendly to me. When I have had problems needing immediate attention and explained the need, have been able to get an appointment within a reasonable time to address the problem. I recommend Dr. Carter and his staff.”

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