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Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer Diagnosis

Patient looking seriously at Physician

Specialists at the Penn Head and Neck Cancer Center perform the latest diagnostic tests and tools to diagnose the full spectrum of sinus and nasal cavity cancer. There are many different types of sinus and nasal cancer that will require different treatment approaches. An accurate diagnosis is key to getting the best possible treatment and care for your type of cancer.

Sinus and Nasal Cancer Diagnostic Tests and Tools

There are a variety of tests and tools for diagnosing sinus and nasal cancer. These tests and tools include:

  • Physical exam and medical history evaluation: Your physician will thoroughly examine your nose, eyes, face and neck for signs and symptoms.
  • Nasal Endoscopy: A procedure to look inside the nose for any abnormal areas. A nasoscope is inserted into the nose. A nasoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. A special tool on the nasoscope may be used to remove samples of tissue. 
  • Laryngoscopy: A procedure to look at the larynx (voice box) for any abnormal areas. A mirror or a laryngoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) is inserted through the mouth to see the larynx. 
  • Imaging tests including:
    • CT Scan
    • MRI
    • PET scan
  • Biopsy: Once a suspicious mass is found, a sample of the area may be removed and viewed under a microscope. Types of biopsies include:
    • Surgical biopsy: In a surgical biopsy, the surgeon exposes the tumor through an incision and removes a piece of the tumor.
    • Core needle biopsy: A physician uses a large, hollow needle to remove a small piece of the tumor.
    • Excisional biopsy: Removal of the entire tumor or suspicious mass.