Decorative image

Who treats nasal and sinus cancer

Read about the health professionals who help you during treatment for nasal or sinus cancer.

You might need to see a variety of doctors and other health professionals who specialise in different aspects of treatment.

Health professionals

Head and neck surgeons

There are a number of different types of head and neck surgeons.

ENT doctors are specialists trained in treating conditions of the ear, nose, throat and neck. They are always qualified surgeons and are also known as otolaryngologists.

Maxillofacial surgeons are highly qualified, needing to be trained both as doctors and dentists. They specialise in the surgical treatment of a wide variety of conditions affecting the mouth, jaw, face and neck, including reconstructive surgery.

Plastic surgeons carry out surgery that involves moulding of the surface and sometimes deep structures of the human body. It can include reconstruction of an area where a cancer has been removed. Plastic surgery is common after surgery to remove a cancer of the head or neck.

Neurosurgeons are surgeons who specialise in surgery to the brain and nervous system.

Oncologist

An oncologist is a doctor who specialises in treating cancer, most often with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Restorative dentist

A restorative dentist (prosthodontists) is a specialist in replacing lost tissues and teeth. They will assess your teeth and may recommend that you have some removed. This may be if the teeth are decaying or loose, so that they don't cause problems later on.

The restorative dentist will advise you on how to look after your mouth and teeth during and after your treatment. They may send you to a dental hygienist for more help. It is important to keep your teeth and mouth clean to reduce the risk of infection.

The dentist will help to plan your recovery with your surgeon, so that you can speak and eat as well as possible afterwards. They may suggest using special false teeth, dental implants, or a replacement part (prosthesis) for missing teeth or any structure in the mouth.

Some people with nasal or sinus cancer have surgery to remove part of their upper jawbone. The missing piece is reconstructed with a piece of bone from another part of the body. A restorative dentist can fit a prosthesis with teeth to attach to the new jawbone using dental implants. 

The hospital prosthetics department will work closely with the restorative dentist, and the maxillofacial and ENT surgeons, to help make your facial appearance as normal as possible after major surgery.

Head and neck clinical nurse specialist

A head and neck clinical nurse specialist is a qualified nurse who has specialist knowledge of cancers of the head and neck. One of their main roles is to help organise care between doctors and the other health professionals you need to see.

They also help to support you through your treatment and make sure you have the information you need to cope with the treatment as well as possible.

Other health professionals

Because nasal and sinus cancers can sometimes spread to the eyes or inside the skull you might also see an eye doctor (opthalmologist).

You may also need help and support from other health specialists, for example a dietitian or speech therapist. There is usually a social worker or benefits advisor attached to cancer units who can advise you on benefits and grants you may qualify for.

Being cared for by a multidisciplinary team (MDT)

NHS guidelines emphasise that all patients with head and neck cancer should be under the care of a multidisciplinary team (MDT). This is a team of health professionals who work together to decide on the best way forward for each patient.

The MDT includes specialist head and neck surgeons and cancer specialists, a specialist nurse, dietitian, prosthodontist and speech therapist.

You might have only seen one specialist, but the team have still got together with your test results and case notes to discuss the best treatment options for you.

Information and help

Dangoor sponsorship

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.