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Nose and Sinus Cancers

The Basics of Nose and Sinus Cancer



Anatomy

Understanding the Anatomy The inside of the nose is called the nasal cavity. It is actually bigger than many people think, and it has many structures inside it. At the most basic level, there is a left and right nasal cavity. The sides are separated by the nasal septum. The nasal cavity on each side […]

Causes

Causes of Sinonasal Cancer As with most cancers, doctors can’t tell you with certainty what causes sinonasal cancer. It’s a combination of genetic predisposition and factors in your environment. Tobacco use may increase your risk of developing sinonasal cancer. Researchers also currently believe that being exposed to certain chemicals in the workplace may increase the […]

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Sinonasal Cancer Sinonasal cavity cancer can present in many different ways, depending on where the cancer is located. For early cancers, there might not be any symptoms, or symptoms may seem just like allergies, sinusitis or nasal polyps. As a general rule, if your doctor sees a nasal polyp or some […]

Doctor’s Visit

What to Expect at Your Doctor’s Visit Step 1: History First, your head and neck specialist will take a thorough history of your health and address any specific concerns you may have. Your doctor might ask questions such as: How long has the problem been there? Is it getting worse, better or staying the same? […]

Diagnosis

Diagnosing Sinonasal Cancer Getting to a diagnosis begins with a history and physical examination. If the symptoms haven’t been present for very long, or if the history and physical examination make the doctor less suspicious that your lesion is cancer, your doctor might try some medications and rehabilitation before jumping to a diagnosis of cancer. […]

Type of Cancer

Determining the Type of Sinonasal Cancer Only after a pathologist analyzes some cells or actual pieces of tissue from the lesion will your doctor be able to tell you if you have cancer. Remember that not all lumps and bumps inside the nose and sinuses are cancer. Some growths are benign (non-cancerous), and there are […]

Grade of the Tumor

Determining the Grade of the Tumor Pathologists will typically report on the grade of the tumor. This is a qualitative interpretation by the pathologist of how much the cancerous cells resemble normal tissue from that site. There are a number of different grading systems that might be used. The most common is as follows: GX: […]

Stage of the Cancer

Determining the Stage of the Cancer The final step before discussing treatment options is a determination of the stage of the cancer. Like for all cancers of the head and neck, doctors in the U.S. use the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual (7th Ed) to determine the stage based on three factors. Factors that go into […]

Treatment Plan

Deciding on a Treatment Plan   Before starting treatment, your doctor will make sure that the following steps are completed. Pretreatment evaluation A full history and physical examination, including a complete head and neck exam (mirror and fiberoptic exam if needed) An evaluation by the members of a head and neck cancer team A biopsy […]

Prognosis

Determining Your Prognosis Your prognosis is a prediction of the outcome of your disease. What is the risk of succumbing to the cancer or the risk of its coming back? These are the big questions on most people’s minds after receiving a diagnosis of head and neck cancer. It is very difficult to discuss prognosis […]

After Treatment

What to Expect After Treatment is Completed   Once you have made it through treatment, you need to have close follow-up with your doctor. This follow-up plan is recommended after being treated for a head and neck cancer: Visit your head and neck specialist on a regular schedule (or earlier if you have any concerning […]

Additional Readings
References

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