Are Frequent Sinus Infections a Sign of Paranasal Sinus Cancer?

A runny nose, congestion and a headache. All of these are symptoms of a sinus infection – or are they? A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is a very common condition that more than three million people deal with each year in the United States alone. Yet, if you seem to be coming down with sinus infections faster than you can get rid of them, you may find yourself wondering if something more could be wrong.

What is paranasal sinus cancer?

Paranasal sinus cancer is an uncommon malignancy that forms within the paranasal sinuses, which are hollow spaces around the bones of the nose. The sinuses produce mucus to keep the inside of the nose from drying out while breathing. There are several types of paranasal sinus cancer, each forming in different kinds of cells within the sinuses.

What are the symptoms of paranasal sinus cancer?

Paranasal sinus cancer that is in its early stages may not produce any noticeable symptoms. However, as the cancer progresses, a number of symptoms can occur. These symptoms often appear in the form of sinus problems and can include:

  • Persistent congestion
  • A runny nose
  • Nosebleeds
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Ear infections
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Runny eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Loose teeth
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Pain or numbness in the teeth or face

It should be noted that many of these symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose and post-nasal drip, are consistent with symptoms of a sinus infection. If you have been coming down with frequent sinus infections, don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. Furthermore, having one of more of the symptoms mentioned above, or even succumbing to frequent sinus infections, does not necessarily mean you have paranasal sinus cancer. In fact, it is far more likely that your symptoms have a much less serious cause. The best thing you can do is to get your symptoms evaluated by a professional and advocate for yourself if you do not believe you are getting the care you need.

If you are seeking diagnostic or treatment services for paranasal sinus cancer, schedule a consultation with a Moffitt physician to discuss your options. Call 1-888-663-3488 or fill out a new patient registration form online. Referrals are not required.