Key Statistics About Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancers

How common is nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer?

Cancers of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses are rare, and make up about 3% to 5% of all head and neck cancers in the United States.

What is the most common type of nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer?

Most cancers in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses are squamous cell cancers. 

Who gets cancer of the nasal cavity or paranasal sinus?

About 4 out of 5 cases occur in people who are 55 years old or older.

In the US, White people are much more likely to develop these cancers than Black people, and men are about twice more likely than women to get these cancers. These cancers occur much more often in certain areas of the world such as Denmark.

Where are nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancers found?

Most cancers of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses occur in the maxillary sinuses or in the nasal cavity. They are less common in the ethmoid sinuses, and are rare in the frontal and sphenoid sinuses.

Survival statistics for these cancers are covered in the section Survival Rates for Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancers, by Stage.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Bossi P, Farina D, Gatta G, Lombardi D, Nicolai P, Orlandi E. Paranasal sinus cancer. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016;98:45-61. doi:10.1016/j.critrevonc.2015.09.009.

Dutta R, Dubal PM, Svider PF, Liu JK, Baredes S, Eloy JA. Sinonasal malignancies: A population-based analysis of site-specific incidence and survival. Laryngoscope. 2015;125(11):2491-2497. doi:10.1002/lary.25465.

Kılıç S, Kılıç SS, Kim ES, et al. Significance of human papillomavirus positivity in sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2017;7(10):980-989. doi:10.1002/alr.21996.

National Cancer Institute. Physician Data Query (PDQ). Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer Treatment. August 22, 2019. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/types/head-and-neck/hp/adult/paranasal-sinus-treatment-pdq on November 10, 2020.

Sanghvi S, Khan MN, Patel NR, Yeldandi S, Baredes S, Eloy JA. Epidemiology of sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma: a comprehensive analysis of 4994 patients. Laryngoscope. 2014;124(1):76-83. doi:10.1002/lary.24264.

Turner JH, Reh DD. Incidence and survival in patients with sinonasal cancer: a historical analysis of population-based data. Head Neck. 2012;34(6):877-885. doi:10.1002/hed.21830.

Youlden DR, Cramb SM, Peters S, et al. International comparisons of the incidence and mortality of sinonasal cancer. Cancer Epidemiol. 2013;37(6):770-779. doi:10.1016/j.canep.2013.09.014.

References

Bossi P, Farina D, Gatta G, Lombardi D, Nicolai P, Orlandi E. Paranasal sinus cancer. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016;98:45-61. doi:10.1016/j.critrevonc.2015.09.009.

Dutta R, Dubal PM, Svider PF, Liu JK, Baredes S, Eloy JA. Sinonasal malignancies: A population-based analysis of site-specific incidence and survival. Laryngoscope. 2015;125(11):2491-2497. doi:10.1002/lary.25465.

Kılıç S, Kılıç SS, Kim ES, et al. Significance of human papillomavirus positivity in sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2017;7(10):980-989. doi:10.1002/alr.21996.

National Cancer Institute. Physician Data Query (PDQ). Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer Treatment. August 22, 2019. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/types/head-and-neck/hp/adult/paranasal-sinus-treatment-pdq on November 10, 2020.

Sanghvi S, Khan MN, Patel NR, Yeldandi S, Baredes S, Eloy JA. Epidemiology of sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma: a comprehensive analysis of 4994 patients. Laryngoscope. 2014;124(1):76-83. doi:10.1002/lary.24264.

Turner JH, Reh DD. Incidence and survival in patients with sinonasal cancer: a historical analysis of population-based data. Head Neck. 2012;34(6):877-885. doi:10.1002/hed.21830.

Youlden DR, Cramb SM, Peters S, et al. International comparisons of the incidence and mortality of sinonasal cancer. Cancer Epidemiol. 2013;37(6):770-779. doi:10.1016/j.canep.2013.09.014.

Last Revised: April 19, 2021

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