Malignant tumors of the nose are rare, accounting for one percent of all cancers. In the head and neck area, they account for about twelve percent of all malignant neoplasms. Men are affected about twice as often as women. Predominantly hitting people over the age of 50. Most often it is so-called squamous cell carcinoma. They develop on the mucous membrane that lines the inside of the nose and its sinuses.
Risk factors for nasal cancer
Smoking is considered an important risk factor for the development of nasal cancer. Among carpenters, the tumor is known as an occupational disease, because cancer of the inner nose can also be caused by wood dust. Harmful fumes from the chemical industry, tanning, and nickel and chrome processing are also considered possible triggers.
Symptoms of nasal cancer
Nasal cancer may be indicated by crusty spots that don’t heal. Only if the cancer originates in the anterior part of the inner nose can changes be palpable and thus be noticed at an early stage. If the tumor is hidden in the paranasal sinuses, for example in the jawbone, symptoms often only occur at an advanced stage.
Symptoms of a nasal cancer include:
- chronically inflamed wounds or scabs that do not heal
- repeated one-sided nosebleeds
- one-sided obstruction of nasal breathing
- Complaints like sinusitis
In the further course, more symptoms can be added:
- Swelling of cheek, front of mouth, eyelids and forehead
- Double vision and other visual disturbances due to displacement of the eyeball
Therapy for nasal cancer
The first goal is the complete removal of the tumor. In the case of extensive tumors, the operation is followed by additional radiation therapy to improve the chances of recovery. In some cases, radiation therapy is combined with chemotherapy.
If the natural appearance of the external nose cannot be preserved during surgery, it is reconstructed by plastic surgery or replaced by a custom-made artificial nose made of plastic (epithesis). .
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