Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancer starts in cells of the nose or sinus cavities. The nasal cavity is made up of the nostrils and the hollow passageway just behind the nose. The nasal cavity filters, warms and moistens the air you breathe and gives you your sense of smell. The paranasal sinuses are hollow chambers around the nose. These sinuses give shape to your face and eyes and give your voice sound.
The nasal cavity and the paranasal sinuses are made up of many different types of cells that can become cancerous. Each type of cancer behaves or grows differently. The most common type of cancer is squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). This means that the cancer starts in the flat cells that line the nasal cavity and paranasal sinus.