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Paranasal Sinus Tumours

Paranasal Sinus Tumours: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment | SingHealth Duke-NUS Head and Neck Centre

Paranasal Sinus Tumours - What it is

Read more on paranasal sinus tumours from SingHealth Duke-NUS Head and Neck CentreThe paranasal sinuses are air-filled spaces and comprises of the maxillary sinuses, the ethmoid sinuses, the sphenoid sinuses and the frontal sinuses. As they are air-filled, tumours that arise in the paranasal sinuses often only present when they are large enough to obstruct the sinuses, or when they cause compressive symptoms on neighbouring structures (such as the orbit).

Types of Tumours

Various neoplasms ranging from benign to malignant tumours can arise in the paranasal sinuses. Fortunately, malignant neoplasms of the paranasal sinuses are uncommon and account for <1% of all neoplasms. Several more commonly seen neoplasms are listed in the table here:

 Benign Tumours

 Malignant Tumours

• Inverted papilloma
Juvenile angiofibroma
• Osteoma
• Capillary hemangioma
• Pleomorphic adenoma
• Squamous cell carcinoma
• Undifferentiated carcinoma
• Adenoid cystic carcinoma
• Adenocarcinoma
• Esthesioneuroblastoma

Paranasal Sinus Tumours - Symptoms

The following are some ways in which paranasal sinuses tumours can present in patients:

  1. Nasal obstruction
  2. Blood-stained nasal discharge or sputum
  3. Epistaxis (Nose bleed)
  4. Visual disturbances such as diplopia
  5. Epiphora (obstruction of lacrimal
  6. Facial fullness or pain

Paranasal Sinus Tumours - How to prevent?

Paranasal Sinus Tumours - Causes and Risk Factors

Certain environmental agents have been linked to the development of certain paranasal sinus malignancies. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) has been associated with things like aflatoxin, which is produced by Aspergillus fungi that can colonize and contaminate grain; chromium, nickel, hydrocarbons and other organic chemicals. Adenocarcinoma has been linked with wood dust exposure. Both these malignancies are also linked with exposure to tobacco smoke, salted and smoked foods and heavy metals. Although inverted papillomas are benign, there is a risk of malignant transformation to SCC.

Paranasal Sinus Tumours - Diagnosis

Patients require nasoendoscopic examination and the diagnosis is made with a biopsy. Depending on the location of the tumour, sometimes radiologic investigations such at CT scan or MRI-scan with intra-operative biopsy may be necessary.

Paranasal Sinus Tumours - Treatments

Treatment depends on the histology of the tumour. Generally, most tumours of the paranasal sinuses are treated surgically with possible post-surgery radiotherapy +/- chemotherapy for certain malignant tumours. An endoscopic operative approach is often preferable as it avoids any facial incisions and scars but much depends on the size and location of the tumour. Patients will need to have an open discussion with the surgeon on the most appropriate treatment option.

Paranasal Sinus Tumours - Preparing for surgery

Paranasal Sinus Tumours - Post-surgery care

Paranasal Sinus Tumours - Other Information

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The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

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