What is nasal and paranasal sinus cancer?

Cancer can start in the lining of the space behind the nose (nasal cavity) or the nearby air cavities (paranasal sinuses) and sometimes spread to lymph nodes.


There are many less severe conditions that can cause the same symptoms as cancer. But it is important that you report any of the following symptoms to your doctor.

Risks and causes

Smoking, certain substances and HPV are some of the risks and causes of nasal and paranasal sinus cancers.


There are different types of cancer of the lining of the space behind the nose (nasal cavity) or the nearby air cavities (paranasal sinuses).

Stages and grades

The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and whether it has spread. The grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope.


Find out about survival for nasal and paranasal sinus cancer.

Getting diagnosed

You usually start by seeing your GP. They will examine you and might refer you for tests or to a specialist.


Your treatment depends on where your cancer is, how big it is, whether it has spread anywhere else in your body, and your general health.

Living with cancer

Nasal and paranasal sinus cancer and its treatment can affect you physically and emotionally, but there is support available to help you cope with these changes.

Research and clinical trials

It is important to understand what clinical trials are. There are also things that you should be told about a clinical trial before taking part. Several clinical trials for head and neck cancer in the UK include nasal and paranasal sinus cancer.

Last reviewed: 
07 Oct 2020
Next review due: 
09 Oct 2023
Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer