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Can Nasal Polyps Turn Cancerous?

POSTED ON March 01, 2018 BY BSR Hospitals

Nose disorders range from a simple nosebleed, that can be treated at home, to more serious disorders such as nasal polyps (growths) or a deviated septum (a twist in the wall that separates the two sides of your nose), that may require surgery.

Nasal polyps are abnormal fleshy growths that develop inside the nasal cavity or paranasal sinuses (the air-filled spaces that are linked to the nasal cavity). They are non-cancerous (benign) growths.

Individuals with asthma, frequent sinus infections, and allergies are more likely to develop them. Possible triggers of nasal polyps are bacterial or viral infection, an allergy, or an immune response to a fungus.

Most nasal polyps are caused by some type of chronic inflammation in the nose. Using exams and tests, the nature of polyps can be determined if they are benign or cancerous. However, in some cases, polyps must be examined closely to identify if it needs to be treated with just medicine or a surgery in non-responsive or advanced cases.

Indications of Malignant Polyps

Polyps occurring in one side of the nose (unilateral) and associated with bleeding and pain are a warning sign of a possible underlying cancer. A biopsy is a must in such cases, to assess the nature of the polyp and to rule out other diseases such as inverting papilloma (IP) that can mimic nasal polyps.

IP is a locally aggressive tumor and although benign, can progress to a malignancy (cancerous) in a some cases. IP can be treated with surgical resection.

Nasal cancer is rare. Though true nasal polyps do not turn into cancer, cancers of the nose and sinuses can at times appear similar to a polyp.

Whatever the cause of your nose problem, it's important to know that you can usually be helped by seeing an ear, nose and throat ENT specialist.

Symptoms of Paranasal Sinus Cancer

People with nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer may experience:

  • Chronic sinus infections not responding to antibiotic treatment
  • Frequent headaches / pain in the sinus region
  • Pain or swelling in the face, eyes, or ears
  • Persistent tearing of eyes
  • Bulging of one of the eyes
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Pain or numbness in the teeth
  • Loosening of teeth
  • lump on the face, nose, or inside the mouth
  • Frequent runny nose
  • Frequent nosebleeds etc.


Endoscopy: Nasal polyps are usually diagnosed with an endoscopy ( inserting a narrow tube with a small camera (or magnifying lens) into the patient's nose.

CT Scan - to locate nasal polyps and other abnormalities linked to chronic inflammation.

Skin Prick Allergy Test - an allergy test.

Cystic Fibrosis Test: if the patient is a young child


Nasal Polyps are treated with medications such as antihistamines for allergies, antibiotics for bacterial infections, and antifungal drugs for fungal allergies. Sometimes steroid sprays or medicines are also prescribed, based on the individual condition.

Alternatively surgery(polypectomy) is advised ins advanced cases which do not subside with medicines.

This is the most common procedure for removal of polyps under local or general anesthesia.

Why BSR Hospital?

BSR ENT hospital has experienced and trained ENT specialists who have the expertise in diagnosis and accurate treatment of polyps. They have treated several thousands of cases of nasal polyps over the past 4 decades in ENT care.

BSR Hospital is equipped with advanced technologies to perform polypectomy, such as nasal video endoscopy, and Microdebrider, an innovative powered handpiece for ENT surgery that facilitate, better precision and intraoperative functionality to aid in successful surgeries. The hospital uses Zeiss ENT surgical Microscope for accuracy and ease of performing complicated surgeries.

The post-op care and instructions provided by the hospital are well appreciated by patients. If you have any questions about nasal polyps or need an appointment for consultation, contact BSR ENT hospital at 040-27848166 or 90593-11554.

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