Nasal cavity cancer

Nasal cavity cancers begin in the nose or the sinuses. Although they are rare, you’re more at risk if you’re male, over 40 or smoke.

 

What is nasal cavity cancer

Squamous cell carcinomas are the most common type of cancer to affect the nasal cavity but others include:

  • Adenocarcinomas
  • Esthesioneuroblastomas
  • Lymphomas
  • Melanomas

They can develop within any part of the nose including:

  • Blood vessels
  • Bone
  • Cartilage
  • Nerves
  • The lining of the nose
Some non-cancerous tumours (swellings) also start here – including nasal polyps and osteoma.

Causes of nasal cavity cancer

The cause of this type of cancer isn’t known, but you are more at risk if you:

  • Are regularly exposed to dust (eg from wood, leather and cloth fibres)
  • Come into regular contact with formaldehyde, chromium, nickel and mineral oils
  • Have been exposed to the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Smoke

Symptoms of nasal cavity cancer

Reduced sense of smell

Discharge from the nose (or draining down the throat)

Feeling if your nose is blocked, particularly on one side

Nosebleeds

Pain or discomfort around the nose

Eye related symptoms:

Watering eye(s)

Pain above or below eye(s)

Problems with your sight, includig double vision

Swelling around the eye(s)

Other symptoms include:

Difficulty opening your mouth or unxplained loose teeth

Ear pain or discomfort

Headaches

Lumps on your face, nose or the roof of your mouth

Numbness or pain affecting your face

Swelling or lumps in your neck

Tests and diagnosis

As well as completing a physical examination and talking to you about your medical history, your doctor may recommend some tests and scans including:

  • Blood tests
  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA) – cells are collected for analysis using a thin needle
  • Nasoendoscopy to examine the inside your nose, throat (pharynx) and voice box (larynx)
  • Panendoscopy – similar to a nasoendoscopy but takes a closer look into the trachea and bronchi
  • Scans including CT , PET-CT, MRI and bone scans

Treatments we offer

These are difficult tumours to treat with surgery. Your specialist doctor will discuss treatment option with you including radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
 
 

Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

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Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

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Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

Read more

Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

Read more

Meet our doctors

Everything we do is focused on designing better care for our patients. With a network of 12 specialist oncology treatment centres across the UK, we provide the most up-to-date treatments and technology as standard.

We attract and retain some of the most experienced doctors in the country, who all have a passion for improving patient outcomes and specialise in the treatment of different types of cancer.

Meet our doctors

Search for a centre near you

Maidstone

17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UA

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Birmingham

Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF

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Nottingham

The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX

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Portsmouth

Bartons Road, Havant, PO9 5NA

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Guildford

BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, GU1 3XL

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Southampton

Spire Hospital, Chalybeate Close, Southampton, SO16 6UY

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Chelmsford

Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU

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Elstree

Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ

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Oxford

Sandy Lane West, Peters Way, Oxford, OX4 6LB

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Milton Keynes

Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LS

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Newmarket

The Oaks, Fordham Road, Newmarket, CB8 7XN

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Windsor

69 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD

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