ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

Diagnosing Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancers

Diagnosing Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancers


Nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancers are more common in people over the age of 55 and it is more prevalent in men than in women. Proper diagnosis is necessary for early detection and immediate treatment to increase potential survival rate.


Initial Physical Exam and Medical History Check

The first step towards proper diagnosis is a physical exam and rundown of a patient’s medical history. More attention will be given to the nose and the sinuses in search of how possible symptoms are affecting the area such as the following:


  • Numbness
  • Dull pain
  • Swelling within the sinus cavities or around the face and lymph nodes
  • Altered symmetry in the face

A nasal endoscopy may also become necessary. This is a procedure where a small tube, equipped with a flashlight and camera, is inserted into the nasal cavity for direct observation.

If there is a suspicion of nasasl cavity and paranasal sinus cancer growth then the patient will be directed to an ENT doctor (also known as an otolaryngologist).


Imaging Tests

There are several imaging techniques to achieve a visual representation of the affected area. These imaging tests are not used for diagnosis but are instead used to determine if the cancer has spread, if treatment is effective, for signs of cancer re-occurrence after treatment, and to look for a suspected tumor.


  • Sinus X-Ray – this initial test will show whether the sinuses fill with air or are blocked by some sort of growth – it might not always be tumor and could be as light as an infection or swelling.
  • Computed Tomography Scan or CT Scan – using cross section images, this type of test becomes useful in identifying the tumor and it can also detect if the cancer has grown or spread to the lungs.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan or MRI – and MRI using magnetic radio waves instead of x-rays to receive an image and is commonly used in order to distinguish tumors from liquids in the sinuses and can help determine a benign tumor from a malignant/cancerous tumor.
  • Chest X-Ray – if a patient is positive for nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer, then this test will follow in order to determine if the cancer has spread out to the lungs (lung metastasis).


A biopsy is a procedure where a small portion of tissue is cut off and taken into the lab for further testing. This is often the procedure required to determine the growth rate of the cancer cells and to determine what kind of cancer it is, how aggressive it is, and how it should be treated.


A biopsy is also the main key in diagnosing a patient since it gives the most accurate data regarding his or her condition.


For more details of diagnosing nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancers, please consult our ENT Specialist for the appropriate ENT services.



HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services


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