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Nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer

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Symptoms of nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer

Cancer in the nasal cavity or a paranasal sinus usually doesn’t cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. This is because the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses are large spaces that allow a tumour to grow. Symptoms often appear once the tumour grows into surrounding tissues and organs.

The signs and symptoms of nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer can be slightly different depending on where the tumour starts. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms. See your doctor if you have these symptoms.

One of the most common symptoms of cancer in the nasal cavity or a paranasal sinus is a stuffy, blocked or runny nose. It usually happens on one side of the nose and lasts for a long time even though you don’t have a cold or allergies. These symptoms may gradually get worse.

Other symptoms include:

  • nosebleeds
  • mucus discharge from the nose
  • mucus draining from the back of the nose into the throat
  • a lump or growth on the face, on the palate (the roof of the mouth) or inside the nose
  • headache
  • sinus pain
  • pain above or below the eyes
  • watery eyes causing tears to run down the cheek
  • numbness, pain and swelling on the face, especially the upper cheek area
  • loose or numb upper teeth or changes in how dentures fit
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • loss of sense of smell
  • bulging of one eye
  • loss or change of vision
  • pain or pressure in one of the ears
  • loss of hearing
  • trouble opening the mouth
  • changes to speech


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