Nasal Tumours


Fortunately, nasal tumours are relatively uncommon. Obstruction of the nasal passage can also result in stagnant mucus and secondary infection. Probably, the commonest nasal tumour is called an inverted papilloma. This arises from the lining of the maxillary sinus usually and presents with a unilateral flat fleshy polyp.

A small percentage of these tumours can progress to malignant transformation and for this reason the condition was usually treated in the form of a lateral rhinotomy where incision was made between the inner aspect of the eye down the side of the nose between the cheek and along the nostril of the nose, thereby allowing access to the sinus through the front of the face. The middle part of the maxillary sinus was then removed and the tumour scooped out in its entirety. However, recent advances in endoscopic techniques can now allow this to be carried out endoscopically in the majority of cases.

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    This condition requires long term surveillance and any recurrences need to be proactively removed and assessed for malignant change.

    The vast majority are benign and presents with symptoms of nasal blockage or bleeding from the nose.


    Malignant tumours can occur in the ethmoid sinuses. A classic one was seen in those who worked in the woodworking industry. It is thought that some of the resins found particularly in hardwoods such as mahogany can give rise to malignant changes in the ethmoid sinuses. Such conditions when diagnosed can require extensive cranio facial operations to ensure complete removal of the disease but involvement of the surrounding tissues, such as the eye and brain, are not uncommon making this condition quite difficult to manage.

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