Can Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancers Be Found Early?

Small cancers of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses usually do not cause any specific symptoms that help doctors find them early. Many of the symptoms of nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancers can also be caused by benign conditions like infections. Because of this, many of these cancers are not found until they have grown large enough to block the nasal airway or sinuses, or until they have spread to nearby tissues or even to distant areas of the body.

Still, some nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancers can be found early. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms such as those described in the section Signs and Symptoms of Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancers. Most of these symptoms are much more likely to be caused by less serious problems. Still, it’s important to see a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.


Screening refers to tests and exams used to detect a disease, such as cancer, in people who do not have any symptoms. Screening can find some types of cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be effective. But at this time there is no simple screening test that can routinely find nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancers early. These cancers are also fairly rare. Because of this, neither the American Cancer Society nor any other group recommends routine screening for these cancers.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: April 22, 2014 Last Revised: August 8, 2016

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