Nasal and paranasal tumors are abnormal growths that begin in and around the passageway between your nose and mouth (nasal cavity). Nasal tumors begin in the nasal cavity. Paranasal tumors begin in air-filled chambers around the nose called the paranasal sinuses.

Nasal and paranasal tumors can be noncancerous (benign) or they can be cancerous (malignant). Several types of nasal and paranasal tumors exist. Which type of tumor you have helps determine the best treatment for you.

  • Teamwork. At Mayo Clinic, ear, nose and throat specialists (otorhinolaryngologists), neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and radiologists work as a team to treat nasal and paranasal tumors. Other professionals are included as needed.
  • Experience. Nasal and paranasal tumors are uncommon. Mayo Clinic doctors have experience diagnosing and treating these tumors. Mayo Clinic doctors treat about 50 people with nasal and paranasal tumors every year.
  • Advanced treatment techniques and technology. Mayo Clinic doctors use the latest treatments for nasal and paranasal tumors. Radiation oncologists use specialized radiation treatments, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy, to precisely target tumor cells and reduce the risk of side effects. When possible, surgeons use minimally invasive surgery techniques, such as endoscopic surgery, to remove tumors.
  • A full range of treatment options to consider. Mayo Clinic doctors will work with you to review all of your treatment options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. The range of treatments offered to people with nasal and paranasal tumors includes surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked high performing for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

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Tests and procedures used to diagnose nasal and paranasal tumors include:

  • Using a tiny camera to see inside your nasal cavity and sinuses. During a nasal endoscopy, a thin tube with a light and camera on the end is inserted into your nose. The camera sends pictures to a monitor that your doctor uses to look for anything unusual.
  • Collecting a sample of cells for testing. If your doctor finds any abnormalities during a nasal endoscopy, special tools can be used to collect tissue samples. The samples are sent to a lab for testing.
  • Imaging tests to create pictures of your nasal cavity and sinuses. Imaging techniques used to view your nasal cavity and sinuses include CT scan and MRI.

Treatment for nasal and paranasal tumors depends on where your tumor is located and what types of cells are involved. Your health care team will work with you to devise a treatment plan that is best for your particular tumor.

Surgery

Most nasal and paranasal tumors are treated with surgery to remove the tumor. Surgical options may include:

  • Open surgery. Surgeons may need to make an incision near your nose or in your mouth to access your nasal cavity or sinus. Surgeons remove the tumor and any areas that may be affected, such as nearby bone.
  • Minimally invasive surgery. In certain situations, surgeons may be able to access the tumor using nasal endoscopy and special tools. The tools are inserted through your nose and a tiny camera allows surgeons to perform the operation.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be used on its own or after surgery to treat nasal and paranasal tumors.

New technology allows radiation oncologists to carefully plan and deliver radiation so that cancer cells are killed and healthy tissue nearby is spared. This reduces the risk of side effects during radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. In people with nasal and paranasal tumors, chemotherapy may be used before or after an operation. Chemotherapy may also be used in combination with radiation therapy.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Specialists at Mayo Clinic in Arizona work together with you to identify the appropriate treatment approach for your tumor. Ear, nose and throat (otorhinolaryngology) experts work with specialists in hematology and oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, radiology, and other specialties as needed.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Specialists at Mayo Clinic in Florida work together with you to identify the appropriate treatment approach for your tumor. Ear, nose and throat (otolaryngology) experts work with specialists in hematology and oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, radiology, and other specialties as needed.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Specialists at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota work together with you to identify the appropriate treatment approach for your tumor. Ear, nose and throat (otorhinolaryngology) experts work with specialists in oral and maxillofacial surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, pathology, radiology, and other specialties as needed.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic doctors and scientists are studying the latest in diagnosis and treatment of nasal and paranasal tumors.

Cancer research is conducted in coordination with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center receives funding from the National Cancer Institute and is designated as a comprehensive cancer center — recognition for an institution's scientific excellence and multidisciplinary resources focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on nasal and paranasal tumors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Jul. 08, 2013