ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the estimated number of people who will be diagnosed with nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer each year. You will also read general information on surviving these diseases. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors, and no 2 people with cancer are the same. Use the menu to see other pages.
Every person is different, with different factors influencing their risk of being diagnosed with this cancer and the chance of recovery after a diagnosis. It is important to talk with your doctor about any questions you have around the general statistics provided below and what they may mean for you individually. The original source for these statistics is provided at the bottom of this page.
How many people are diagnosed with nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer?
Both nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer are uncommon. They make up only 3% to 5% of head and neck cancers in the United States. People in certain other areas of the world, such as Denmark, are more likely to develop these diseases.
In the United States, cancer of the nasal cavity or paranasal sinus is more common as people grow older. Approximately 4 out of 5 people diagnosed with nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer are at least 55 years old. White people are diagnosed with nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer far more often than Black people.
What is the survival rate for nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer?
There are different types of statistics that can help doctors evaluate a person’s chance of recovery from nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer. These are called survival statistics. A specific type of survival statistic is called the relative survival rate. It is often used to predict how having cancer may affect life expectancy. Relative survival rate looks at how likely people with nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer are to survive for a certain amount of time after their initial diagnosis or start of treatment compared to the expected survival of similar people without this cancer.
Example: Here is an example to help explain what a relative survival rate means. Please note this is only an example and not specific to this type of cancer. Let’s assume that the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific type of cancer is 90%. “Percent” means how many out of 100. Imagine there are 1,000 people without cancer, and based on their age and other characteristics, you expect 900 of the 1,000 to be alive in 5 years. Also imagine there are another 1,000 people similar in age and other characteristics as the first 1,000, but they all have the specific type of cancer that has a 5-year survival rate of 90%. This means it is expected that 810 of the people with the specific cancer (90% of 900) will be alive in 5 years.
It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer are only an estimate. They cannot tell an individual person if cancer will or will not shorten their life. Instead, these statistics describe trends in groups of people previously diagnosed with the same disease, including specific stages of the disease.
The 5-year relative survival rate for nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer in the United States is 59%.
The survival rates for nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer vary based on several factors. These include the stage and grade of cancer, a person’s age and general health, and how well the treatment plan works.
If the cancer is located only in the nasal cavity or paranasal sinus, the 5-year relative survival rate is 86%. If the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs and/or to regional lymph nodes, the 5-year relative survival rate is 52%. If there is distant spread to other parts of the body, the 5-year relative survival rate is 43%. Talk with your doctor about what you can expect with your specific diagnosis.
Experts measure relative survival rate statistics for nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society website. (Source accessed January 2023.)
The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.