Signs and Symptoms of Nasal and Paranasal Sinus Cancers

In most cases, nasal and paranasal sinus cancers are found because of the symptoms they cause. Diagnosis in people without symptoms is rare and usually accidental (because of tests done to check other medical problems). Possible symptoms of these cancers include:

  • Nasal congestion and stuffiness that doesn’t get better or even worsens
  • Pain above or below the eyes
  • Blockage of one side of the nose
  • Post-nasal drip (nasal drainage in the back of the nose and throat)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pus draining from the nose
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Numbness or pain in parts of the face
  • Loosening or numbness of the teeth
  • Growth or mass of the face, nose, or palate
  • Constant watery eyes
  • Bulging of one eye
  • Loss or change in vision
  • Pain or pressure in one of the ears
  • Trouble opening the mouth
  • Lymph nodes in the neck getting larger (seen or felt as lumps under the skin)

Having one or more of these symptoms does not mean you have nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer. In fact, many of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by other conditions (although with cancer they don’t get better over time). Still, if you have any of these symptoms, it is important to have them checked by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

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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