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The nasal vestibule is the area just inside the nostril. Most tumours that develop in the nasal vestibule are squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the skin. As a result, these tumours are treated like non-melanoma skin cancer.
Radiation therapy is a main treatment for nasal vestibule cancer. External beam radiation therapy is the type of radiation used to treat most tumours in the nasal vestibule.
External beam radiation therapy may be used:
Chemotherapy is sometimes given with external beam radiation therapy (called chemoradiation).
You may be offered surgery for very small tumours in the nasal vestibule. This is an option if the surgery won’t change how the face looks or won’t require you to have reconstruction.
Surgery may also be given either before or after radiation therapy for large tumours of the nasal vestibule.
If radiation therapy or surgery was used as a first treatment and cancer comes back, more surgery may be done to try to remove the cancer.
The type of surgery done depends on the size of the tumour.
Wide local excision removes the tumour along with a margin of healthy tissue around it. It is used for small tumours that can be completely removed without changing how the nose or face looks.
Rhinectomy removes all or part of the nose, which can change how the face looks. It is usually only done for larger, advanced tumours or tumours that have come back (recurred) after radiation therapy. If you need to have a rhinectomy, you will have reconstructive surgery or be fitted with a prosthesis.
Neck dissection removes lymph nodes in the neck (called cervical lymph nodes). It is sometimes done to remove lymph nodes that contain cancer. Learn more about neck dissection.
Sometimes chemotherapy is given during the same time period as radiation therapy (called chemoradiation) or after surgery.
Chemotherapy may also be used alone to treat recurrent nasal vestibule cancer that doesn’t respond to radiation therapy or surgery.
You may be asked if you want to join a clinical trial for nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.