NASAL CANCER IN INDIA
Your paranasal sinuses are small hollow spaces around the nose. They are lined with cells that make mucus, which keeps your nose from drying out. The nasal cavity is the passageway just behind your nose through which air passes on the way to your throat as you breathe.
Cancer of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses are rare. Men are more likely than women to get it, and most patients are older than 45. There may be no symptoms at first, and later symptoms can be like those of infections. This means cancer may not be found until it is advanced, making it harder to treat. Treatment options include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
What is Nasal Cavity Cancer?
Fortunately, most conditions affecting the nasal cavity are not cancer, but rather “benign” afflictions. This includes infection of the nose (“rhinitis”), a continuously runny nose (“rhinorrhea”) and stuffiness due to allergies (“allergic rhinitis”). Also, since there are many small “capillaries” in the nose (where the smallest arteries join the smallest veins) nosebleeds (“epistaxis”) are common. Bleeding can be initiated by irritation, dry air, trauma, excessive sneezing, high blood pressure, infections or cancer and are harder to control when they occur deep within the back portion of the nose. In general, cancer is the LEAST likely cause of nasal problems.
Cells in the nose are subjected to lots of injury from heat and abrasion, dust and germs breathed in and thus must divide frequently to replace those lost due to injury and old age. Normally, cells divide quickly as we develop in the womb and through infancy, and then the rate slows down considerably, just to replace cells that die. The division of cells in the nose and elsewhere is under very tight control, regulated by the “genes” within the cells. When this control is lost, the cells may start to divide in a haphazard, uncontrolled manner, and grow to form a swelling of abnormal cells, called a “tumor”. A “benign” tumor only grows within it’s the local area, it does not spread to distant organs, and it is not cancer. In contrast, a “malignant” tumor can spread to any area of the body, it is cancer. It is this ability to spread, or “metastasize”, to vital organs which makes cancer so dangerous. Nasal cancers tend to grow large locally before spreading, but any cancer can spread at any time.
The nose opens into the nasal cavity, which is divided into two nasal passages. Air moves through these passages during breathing. The nasal cavity lies above the bone that forms the roof of the mouth and curves down at the back to join the throat. The area just inside the nostrils is called the nasal vestibule. A small area of special cells in the roof of each nasal passage sends signals to the brain to give the sense of smell.
Together the paranasal sinuses and the nasal cavity filter and warm the air, and make it moist before it goes into the lungs. The movement of air through the sinuses and other parts of the respiratory system help make sounds for talking.
Causes of Nasal Cancer
There are primarily 3 major causes of nasal cancer. Infection with the Epstein Barr virus is one of them. Diet also plays an important role in causing this type of cancer. Salted foods such as fish, vegetables, and meat might cause nasal cancer. Genetic makeup could also be a reason behind this disease.
Increases the Risk, for Nasal Cancer?
Like any cancer, the reason why one person develops Nasal Cancer and another does not remain unknown. However, by studying groups of patients for common features, we have established certain risk factors that, if present, raise the risk:
This is the single strongest risk factor for developing cancers of the head and neck. Any form of tobacco taken through the mouth, whether smoked or chewed, increases the risk over time. The more tobacco that is used, for a longer period of time, the higher the chance is to get cancer. Likewise, when use is stopped, the risk declines to normal over a 5 to 10 year period.
such as syphilis and some viruses can lead to cancer over time, these cause sores which heal poorly. The constant attempt to heal leads to “chronic cell division” and thus more chance for cancer. Viruses can also get into the cells of the nose themselves and change the genes in them to form a cancer cell. This elaborate process is called “Oncogene Activation”. Another process called “Suppressor Gene Inactivation” can allow a damaged cell (which should not divide) to go about division anyway. The most common virus noted to do this in the upper respiratory tract is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Some people seem genetically predisposed to getting cancer from viruses.
such as from AIDS or transplant anti-rejection drugs will increase the risk for many cancers, including those of the “aero-digestive tract” (i.e. the area from the nose and mouth to the lungs and stomach). This will be especially important in combination with the other risk factors noted.
History of Cancer
of the aerodigestive tract can mean as much as 5% chance of a separate already present (“simultaneous”) cancer, and a 25% chance of developing another (“metachronous”) cancer in this area over time (especially if risks like smoking are continued).
and smoke from certain fires increases the risk for nasal, nasopharynx and sinus cancers, probably from chronic irritation. This is believed one reason why these cancers are more common in the Far East, where people still use many open-smoke fires to cook food.
Treatment of Nasal Cancer
The treatment which is deemed as the most effective for patients with nasopharyngeal cancer is radiation therapy. This treatment could be used along with chemotherapy. Surgery is another option for treating nasopharyngeal cancer. Prof. W.L. Wei who introduced the ‘Maxillary Swing’ method proves to be useful in cancer treatment. Resection of the nasopharyngeal tumor is carried out in the Maxillary Swing surgery. In this type of surgery, the nasopharynx region is opened by severing connections between skull bones and maxilla. It facilitates the resection of tumors as well as placement/positioning of tubings required for brachytherapy. Read more on alternative cancer treatments.
The main focus of the article above is to present before readers, the nasal cancer symptoms. However, the brief information about the causes and treatment of this disease would also prove to be helpful.
A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:
- Blocked sinuses that do not clear, or sinus pressure.
- Headaches or pain in the sinus areas.
- A runny nose.
- A lump or sore inside the nose that does not heal.
- A lump on the face or roof of the mouth.
- Numbness or tingling in the face.
- Swelling or other trouble with the eyes, such as double vision or the eyes pointing in different directions.
- Pain in the upper teeth, loose teeth, or dentures that no longer fit well.
- Pain or pressure in the ear.
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