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Can Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancers Be Prevented?

Most people with cancer of the nasal cavity (nose) and paranasal sinuses have no known risk factors, so there is currently no way to prevent most of these cancers. But there are some things people can do to lower their risk.

Avoid workplace chemicals and dust

Not all nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancers can be prevented, but the risk of developing these cancers can be greatly reduced by avoiding exposures to certain substances in the workplace. Fortunately, awareness of the possible danger from these exposures has increased, and workplace safety measures to help protect people have improved. Still, if you are working with any of the substances listed in Risk Factors for Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancers, it’s important for you to find out if you are being protected from harmful exposure.

Avoid smoking

Smoking is another risk factor for cancers of the nasal cavity and sinuses that people can avoid to help prevent the disease.

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 editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Bossi P, Farina D, Gatta G, et al. Paranasal sinus cancer. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016;98:45-61. 

Leeman JE, Katabi N, Wong, RJ, Lee NY, Romesser PB. Chapter 65 - Cancer of the Head and Neck. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2020.

Mendenhall WM, Dziegielewski PT, Pfister DG. Chapter 45- Cancer of the Head and Neck. In: DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2019.

National Cancer Institute. Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer Treatment (PDQ)–Patient Version. November 06, 2019. Accessed at on November 09, 2020.

Last Revised: April 19, 2021

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