Tumors of the Middle Ear & Mastoid Portion
Just like any other part of the body, the ears are also subject to the growth of benign and malignant tumors. Tumors may grow in all areas of the ear – from the exterior to the middle ear and inner ear. As tumors in each location are different in behavior and treatment, they have to be categorized by site of occurrence. This regards the tumors of the middle ear and to some extent, the mastoid portion.
Common Benign Tumors
Less Common Benign Tumors
Fortunately, malignant tumors are not common. The most prevalent of malignant tumors in the middle ear is the growth of squamous cell cancers. There have been no clear studies regarding how ear infection affects the development of these cell cancers but it has been noted that chronic inflammation may be the link between them.
Symptoms of squamous cell cancers of the middle ear/mastoid:
Most patients are diagnosed with this type of malignant tumor when the tumor has already reached an advanced stage. Suspicious is necessary upon the investigation of any form of tissue growth protruding from a perforated ear drum, especially if it is accompanied by pain.
Treatment of Malignant Tumors
The only suggested treatment for malignant tumors of the middle ear and mastoid is radiation therapy after immediate invasive therapy. Radiation therapy alone is not enough to completely excise the tumor which is why surgery is also required for 100% extraction.
This type of treatment becomes impossible once the tumor has moved on and invaded the covering of the brain (dura). Treatment at this point involves medication to reduce pain and increase quality of life.
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