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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Head and Neck Cancer

Question: Possible nose/sinus cancer?

 Sha1Olin - Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:58 am

Hi, I hope someone can respond, I'm pretty worried about this at this point. I can't sleep at night I'm so worried. Here's what's going on. I have had sore/ raw areas on the inside of my nose for over two months now. They seem to have a white outer edge if I let my nose dry out. I waited one month to see if they would go away before seeing family physician. He thought it was just caused by dry air. He suggested I try saline gel for two weeks. I did, no help. He did refer me to an ENT though. The ENT tried me on two weeks of Bactroban Nasal. It helped a little with the local pain the areas cause but now than I'm finished with that the pain is more intense. Perhaps it just kept the area moist? I still felt a little pain with Bactroban, but not as bad. Now, two months later, my sinuses are hurting. They alternate between burning, like someone is holding a match to them, and dull ache to moderate throbbing pain. I have to take Advil to help it. I don't feel like I'm healing and I'm intensley worried that this has something to do with Fiberglass insulation exposure I had about 4-5 years ago. I installed some in the attic of my new house for about a week, every day. I had a normal dust mask on, but not a NIOSH approved one. I had a sore throat after that for a few days. I tried to make sure I breathed through my nose so I hopefully I didn't get much in my lungs. My family Physician and ENT seem to just discount this exposure. I'm a very healthy 38 year old male, no drugs, eat healthy and exercise often. If these sore areas in my nose are caused by dry air, wouldn't the month of gels I tried heal them? Also, I have kept the humidity in my house at 45-55% for the last month. It seemed to help at first, but now the pain is constant. Also, now, in conjunction with my new burning sinus pain I'm really worried. I have no cold, no nasal discharge, no sore throat and feel fine. ENT doesn't think it's cancer b/c he says he sees no ulcer in my nose. However, he has not even done an endoscopy to look into my sinuses. Of course, I have read online and seem to have all the symptoms of nose cancer-pain without discharge. I'm extremely worried because I have read nose cancer can be fast growing and fast spreading, and is usually diagnosed too late. Also, cancer doesn't have to form an ulcer or tumor to spread. I'm TRYING to just get them to rule it out early, or find it if that's what it is to start treatment. It's seems they think I'm worried for nothing. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:56 am

User avatar Hello,

I hope you are feeling better. I understand your anxiety but you have been to the doctor and you have been given a chance to express your concerns. I think you should be confident in your doctors decision for now. I am not saying ignore your symptoms. Should your symptoms remain unresolved you should continue to seek medical attention.

Nasal cancers are two types those arising from the vestibule and those from the nasal cavity. Common symptoms include a nonhealing nasal ulcer, nasal bleeding, nasal obstruction.

As you can see with the exception of the nonhealing ulcer the symptoms are not specific for cancer which is why most of these cases go undiagnosed until they present with an advanced stage. Also in contrast to other tumors of the head and neck lymph node involvement occurs only rarely in nasal cancer.

Also note that nasal cancer is relatively rare.

I hope this information helps. Please follow up with your doctors.

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