Nasal and paranasal tumors are abnormal growths that begin in and around the passageway within your nose (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.
Products & Services
Signs and symptoms of nasal and paranasal tumors can include:
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Loss of the sense of smell
- Discharge from your nose
- Facial swelling or pain
- Watery eyes
- A sore or lesion on the roof of your mouth
- Vision problems
- A lump in your neck
- Difficulty opening your mouth
When to see a doctor
Talk to your doctor about any persistent signs and symptoms that worry you.
Nasal and paranasal tumors form when a genetic mutation turns normal, healthy cells into abnormal cells. Healthy cells grow and multiply at a set rate, eventually dying at a set time. Abnormal cells grow and multiply out of control, and they don't die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (tumor).
If the abnormal cells become cancerous, they might invade nearby tissues and separate from an initial tumor to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Factors that may increase the risk of nasal and paranasal tumors include:
- Smoking and being around people who are smoking
- Breathing in air pollution
- Long-term exposure to chemicals and irritants in the air at work, such as wood dust, fumes from glue, rubbing alcohol and formaldehyde, and dust from flour, chromium and nickel
- Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a common sexually transmitted infection
To reduce your risk of nasal and paranasal tumors, you can:
- Stop smoking. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you smoke and want to quit, talk with your doctor about strategies that can help, such as counseling and medications.
- Protect yourself at work. Follow your workplace safety rules for protecting yourself from harmful fumes and irritants in the air, such as wearing a face mask.
Get Mayo Clinic cancer expertise delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe for free and receive an in-depth guide to coping
with cancer, plus helpful information on how to get a second opinion. You can unsubscribe at any
ErrorEmail field is required
ErrorInclude a valid email address
To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which
information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with
other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could
include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected
health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health
information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of
privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on
the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.
Thank you for subscribing
Your in-depth coping with cancer guide will be in your inbox shortly. You will also
receive emails from Mayo Clinic on the latest about cancer news, research, and care.
If you don’t receive our email within 5 minutes, check your SPAM folder, then contact us
Sorry something went wrong with your subscription
Please, try again in a couple of minutes
Nasal and paranasal tumors care at Mayo Clinic
Sept. 25, 2021
- Dagan R, et al. Tumors of the nasal cavity. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Aug. 5, 2019.
- Flint PW, et al. Benign tumors of the sinonasal tract. In: Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2019.
- Flint PW, et al. Malignancies of the paranasal sinus. In: Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2019.
- Warner KJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 3, 2019.
- Pamias-Portalatin E, et al. Endoscope-assisted contralateral transmaxillary approach to the clivus and the hypoglossal canal: Technical case report. Journal of Neurosurgery. 2019;130:1609.
- Miglani A, et al. Use of intraoperative negative margins reduces inverted papilloma recurrence. American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy. 2018;32:57.
- Oliver JD, et al. Novel synchronous nasal involvement of inverted papilloma and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis with confirmed human papillomavirus isolated from nasal septum and middle turbinate: A case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2019;13:215.
- Ramkumar S, et al. MRI-based texture analysis to differentiate sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma from inverted papilloma. American Journal of Neuroradiology. 2017;38:1019.
- Blanchard P, et al. Proton therapy for head and neck cancers. Seminars in Radiation Oncology. 2017;28:53.
- Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Cancer of the head and neck. In: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 1, 2019.
- Head and neck cancers. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/default.aspx. Accessed April 1, 2019.
- Nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer: Risk factors and prevention. American Society of Clinical Oncology. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/nasal-cavity-and-paranasal-sinus-cancer/risk-factors-and-prevention. Accessed Aug. 11, 2019.
- Benninger MS. The impact of cigarette smoking and environmental tobacco smoke on nasal and sinus disease: A review of the literature. American Journal of Rhinology. 1999;13:435.
- Kilic S, et al. Significance of human papillomavirus positivity in sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma. International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology. 2017;7:980.
Products & Services
Nasal and paranasal tumors