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Frontal sinuses, maxillary sinuses, ethmoid sinuses and sphenoid sinuses are four pairs of sinuses that are located in the bones of the skull. When an abnormal growth or mass of tissues develop in any of these air-filled cavities located in the bones surrounding the nose, cheeks and the eyes, one is most likely to experience a variety of distressing sinus tumor symptoms. The symptoms would be severe if any of these air-filled pockets are blocked by a large-sized tumor. While an endoscopic surgical procedure may be used for the removal of a benign nasal polyp or a sinus tumor, an open surgery may be recommended for a tumor that is malignant.

Cancer of sinuses is quite rare, but it is believed that prolonged exposure to certain harmful chemicals can make one susceptible to this condition. Given below is some information on the symptoms and the treatment of this medical condition.

Symptoms of a Sinus Tumor

As mentioned earlier, there are four pairs of sinuses that are located in the skull. These air-filled spaces connect to the nasal cavity through small openings that are referred to as ostia. When these sinus openings get blocked due to abnormal growths, the flow of air gets obstructed. Accumulation of mucus may also block the sinuses. Under these circumstances, bacteria may grow and multiply and cause sinusitis. Nasal congestion, post nasal drip, facial numbness, tingling sensation in the face, runny eyes and facial pain are some of the common symptoms that are caused due to inflamed sinuses. Such symptoms could also be caused due to a sinus tumor and it is therefore, essential that a person suffering from recurrent infections must get a thorough medical checkup done. Symptoms of such a tumor usually vary depending on the location of the tumor or the sinuses that are affected by the tumor. Since the frontal sinuses are located in the forehead, tumor symptoms in this area usually include pain and sinus pressure in the forehead. The maxillary sinuses are located around the cheekbones, which is why pain in the upper teeth, difficulty in opening the mouth and swelling around the cheekbone figure in the list of maxillary sinus cancer symptoms.

Ethmoid sinuses are present between the eyes, whereas the sphenoid sinuses are located behind the eyes. A person suffering from a tumor in the ethmoid sinus may therefore, experience pain and pressure around the eyes. Since sphenoid sinuses are located behind the eyes, tumor symptoms in this area usually include swelling around the eyes, pain and vision problems such as double vision or blurred vision. Besides the aforementioned symptoms, one may even suffer from nosebleeds, recurrent ear infections and reduced sense of smell or taste. Large tumors may also give rise to facial deformities. Cavernous and endodermal tumors are both rare types of tumors in the sinuses. Cavernous tumor is characterized by an abnormal growth in the cavernous sinus. This is a blood-filled space that contains nerves that help in moving the eye and impart sensation to the eyes and the face. Headaches and double vision are the most common cavernous sinus symptoms. If the tumor becomes enlarged, then one may even become susceptible to seizures. Endodermal sinus tumor, also known as yolk sac tumor, mainly arises from germ cells of ovary or testes. Endodermal tumor of the paranasal sinuses is quite rare and symptoms arising from paranasal sinuses may include nasal congestion, difficulty in moving eyes, headache or vision problems.

Treatment of a Sinus Tumor

Benign tumors that may have developed on the membranes that line the sinuses or the tumors that develop on the underlying bone, can be removed through endoscopic sinus surgery. This is a minimally-invasive procedure that is performed under the influence of anesthesia. Under this procedure, a small lighted instrument called endoscope is inserted through the nose. The light facilitates a better inside view and this helps the doctor as he drains off the mucus or removes the tumor, polyps or anything that may be causing blockages. An endoscopic sinus surgery procedure is often viewed as one of the most effective ways of treating benign tumors, nasal polyps, sinusitis or a deviated septum. If the tumor is very big, surgeons may even use a curved surgical drill in order to remove the tumor. If the surgeon feels that endoscopic surgical removal may not help, an open surgery is usually recommended. Open surgery is often viewed as a preferred treatment option for malignant tumors. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are the other treatment options that may be recommended for the treatment of malignant tumors. Post surgery, one may have to use analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs and nasal decongestants as well. These will help in alleviating the specific symptoms.

Though malignant sinus tumors are rare, if one is diagnosed with this condition, a timely treatment becomes essential for alleviating the distressing symptoms. Benign tumors can also have an adverse impact on one's health, and therefore, these must also be treated at the earliest.