What is Maxillary Sinus Cancer?
Cancers of paranasal sinuses are rare but if they arise, the most common sites affected are the maxillary sinuses.
The early symptoms that maxillary sinus cancer exhibits are often mistaken for sinusitis. Hence walks in the importance of early diagnosis for curative treatment.
A sinus is a hollow air-filled cavity. Sinuses exist in the bones around the nose. Since these are located close to the nose we use the term Paranasal sinuses. They serve the function of preventing the inside of our nose from drying out during breathing. They do this by secreting mucus. The sinuses are lined with cells which secrete this protective mucus.
Paranasal sinuses are named after the bones that surround them:
- Frontal sinuses: Located in the lower forehead above the nose
- Maxillary sinuses: Located in cheekbones on either side of the nose
- Ethmoid sinuses: Located in between the eyes, beside the upper nose
- Sphenoid sinuses: Located behind the nose
A cancer is an abnormal growth of cells. Cells which are the fundamental units of life that serve as building blocks normally multiply and function in harmony. When this harmony is disrupted cancer walks in.
Cancers of paranasal sinuses are rare but as the sinuses are they located very close to vital structures, early detection and cure is of utmost importance. Unfortunately most of the cases fail to earn an early diagnosis since the features are non specific and hence they present in advanced stage.