Nasal Cavity cancer
Nasal cavity cancer, also called paranasal sinus cancer is a tumor that develops inside the nose or paranasal cavities. The nasal cavity is the area behind the nose where the air passes into the throat while the maxillary sinuses are air filled areas surrounding the nasal cavity where parasanal sinus cancer usually occurs. It is one of the major type of head and neck cancer.
Causes of Nasal cavity cancer
Factors that increase the chances of diagnosis with nasal cavity cancer are regular exposure to certain chemicals or dust during jobs like sawmill work, metal plating, woodworking, furniture making, flour mill, etc.
People who are older than 40 or diagnosed with HPV can suffer from this cancer. Smoking and tobacco consumption are some other major factors responsible.
Diagnosing Nasal cavity cancer
Usually, tests such as physical exam of nose, neck and face, imaging such as MRI, X-rays, PET, bone scan, etc and biopsy are the methods to detect if the person is diagnosed with paranasal or nasal cavity cancer. Procedures such as Nasoscopy and Laryngoscopy are also widely used to find abnormalities in tissues and cells in the nose and neck area.
Treatment of Nasal cavity cancer
The treatment of the patient is performed by doctors depending on the signs and symptoms, type of cancer, age and health condition of the patient and test results derived from diagnosis. Below are given the list of most common treatment methods used to cure nasal cavity cancer.
- Surgery: Surgery is the most widely used method where the tumor is removed from the nasal cavity or paranasal sinus by surgical oncologist. The main aim is to remove the entire cancer cells from the region, leaving no trace of cancer in tissues. Sometimes, due to the severity and critical location of the tumor, surgery alone isn’t enough to eliminate the cancer, hence additional treatments are used alongside.
- Radiation therapy: Similar to any other cancer treatment, radiation therapy here is also used where high energy radiation beams are targeted to the cancerous area to destroy the unhealthy cells. This treatment method is performed by a radiation oncologist.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs given through a pill or injection that targets the cancer cells and reduce their growth, which ultimately kills them. Systematic chemotherapy is mixed into the bloodstream through intravenous (IV), which reaches the cancer cells all over the body.
Side effects are frequent in any kind of cancer treatment, which in most cases, go away easily with time and living proper and healthy life. Here are some of the complications of nasal cavity cancer treatment.
- Sore mouth and throat
- Trouble chewing and swallowing
- Loss or change in taste
- Dry mouth
- Eye issues
- Hearing trouble
- Fatigue and weakness
- Trouble opening mouth
Post operative care
After the treatment is done, regular check ups are necessary to make sure recurrence does not happen. It can last for months or even years, but as time go by, the checkup will become less frequent. These check ups may include a full body examination, blood tests, CT scans, ultrasound and x-rays.
Along with that, dental check ups will also be frequent as a dentist can discover abnormality or symptoms of recurrence. It is also expected of you to see a speech therapist if you are having trouble speaking. Make sure to have your eyes checked as well if the cancer has affected your eyesight.