Cancers that grow in the nose and sinuses can be difficult to treat. Many of these cancers tend to be
highly aggressive and may be found at advanced stages. Because of the important surrounding
anatomic structures, including the eyes and brain, removing these tumors with surgery requires high levels of
expertise. In some cases, these cancers can be removed completely through the nose with endoscopes,
preventing the need for external incisions on the head or face. Aside from surgery, some cancers also
require treatment with radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
A recent multi-site prospective study of 142 patients undergoing treatment for sinus and nasal cancers
investigated what factors were associated with having complications from the cancer treatment. In this
group of patients, 16% experienced some sort of treatment-related complication. The investigators
found that the use of radiation therapy was associated with complication development. Having “open”
surgery with external incisions was also associated with increased odds of experiencing a complication.
Although some sinus and nasal cancers can be aggressive and difficult to treat, newer treatments such
as endoscopic resection and targeted chemotherapy medications are increasingly being used.
Treatment-related complications can occur in some situations. As physicians continue to have better
tools to treat cancers, the balance of treating the cancer and complications from the treatment must
continue to be considered and balanced.
Surgical approach is associated with complication rate in sinonasal malignancy: A multicenter study
Daniel M. Beswick MD, Peter H. Hwang MD, Nithin D. Adappa MD, Christopher H. Le MD, Ian M.
Humphreys DO, Anne E. Getz MD, Jeffrey D. Suh MD, Davis M. Aasen MD, Waleed M. Abuzeid MD,
Eugene H. Chang MD, Alexander M. Kaizer PhD, Todd T. Kindgom MD, Michael A. Kohanski MD PhD,
Seyed Ali Nabavizadeh MD, Jayakar V. Nayak MD PhD, James N. Palmer MD, Zara M. Patel MD, Vijay R.
Ramakrishnan MD, Carl H. Snyderman MD MBA, Maie A. St. John MD PhD, Jessica Wild MS, Eric W.