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The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer

A disease in which cancerous cells are found in the tissues of the paranasal sinuses or nasal cavity. Paranasal sinuses are small, hollow spaces around the nose. The sinuses are lined with cells that make mucus, which keeps the nose from drying out; the sinuses also are a space through which the voice can resonate to make sounds when a person talks or sings. There are several paranasal sinuses, including the frontal sinuses (forehead), the maxillary sinuses in the upper part of either side of the upper jawbone (cheeks), the ethmoid sinuses (between nose and eyes), and the sphenoid sinus behind the ethmoid sinus in the center of the skull. The nasal cavity is the passageway just behind the nose through which air passes on the way to the throat during breathing.