Sinus infection symptoms may be mistaken for nasal cancer symptoms and vice versa. A clear understanding between the two is essential.

The space situated behind our nose and below the brain is known as the Nasopharynx which connects our windpipe to the nose. On the sidewall of the nasopharynx, a small tube-like canal connects it to the ear called the eustachian tube.

What is Nasal Cancer?

Nasal cancer develops when cells of the lining of the nasopharynx start to mutate. Soon, a cancerous lump or malignant tumour is formed which then spreads to the brain, ears and the jaw. The cancer also spreads into the lymph glands of the neck. Nasal cancer can also spread to the bones and lungs via the bloodstream.

Known Risk Factors related to Nasal cancer

1. Epstein Barr Virus (EB Virus)
This virus has an association with nasal cancer.

2. Diet
Consuming a variety of salted foodstuff such as salted vegetables, fish and meat is an associated risk.

3. Genetic Factors
The genetic makeup of certain individuals may predispose them to nasal cancer.

Nasal Cancer Symptoms

1. The most obvious sign (90%) is a lump in the neck. That indicates a swollen lymph node invaded by cancer cells.

2. Nosebleed, blocked nose and mucus production.

3. Buzzing noise, discharge from the ear, hearing loss and pain,.

4. Voice become hoarse and difficulty in swallowing.

5. Facial paralysis on one side.

Diagnosis Of Nasal Cancer

1. Nasal Endoscopy
The procedure involves introducing a flexible fiber-optic tube with a light at its tip into the nose. The nasopharynx is examined visually and any suspicious lump is removed and examined for a biposy.

2. CT scan of the head and neck
This type of scan reveals the extent to which the cancer has spread.

3. Blood test to verify the level of antibodies against EB virus.
If the level of antibodies is high,then nasal cancer is suspected.

4. Chest, abdominal CT scans and bone scans are required to determine if the cancer has spread to other areas of the body.

Nasal Cancer Treatment

1. Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy is the use of high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells. Nasal cancer responds well to radiotherapy and is utilized as the main treatment option. Radiotherapy is given daily 6 weeks. Temporary side effects include redness of the skin on the neck, dry mouth and throat, mouth ulcers, loss of sense of taste and appetite. The lymph nodes in the neck will also undergo radiotherapy.

2. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a medical procedure which uses toxic drugs to kill cancer cells. Its role in nasal cancer treatment is limited and is used in 2 situations:

a. Advanced nasal cancer which has spread to the bones, liver and lungs.
b. In combination with radiotherapy to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

3. Surgery
The role of surgery is limited in nasal cancer because of the difficulty in removing the cancer without injuring vital neighboring organs. If nasal cancer recurs in an area which had received radiotherapy before, surgery can be used to remove the recurrence.

Treatment Outcome And Survival Rates

1. Nasal cancer in the early stage when the tumour is small and located only in the nasopharynx, the survival rate is very good (90%) after radiotherapy.

2. Nasal cancer in the intermediate stage When the nasal cancer has spread to the neighbouring organs or the lymph glands in the neck, the survival rate drops (40% to 50%).

3. Nasal cancer in the late Stage if the nasal cancer has spread elsewhere in the body. The survival rate is poor (less than 10% of patients survived 5 years).
Nasal cancer patients have a very good survival rate if detected early.

By comparing sinus infection symptoms and nasal cancer symptoms, you will be in a better position to decide if a visit to an ENT specialist for your condition is called for.

Learn more about sinus infection symptoms at

and sinus infection treatment at

from Sinus Infection Help at


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