You may not associate your nose with cancer \u2014 but a small number of people actually develop a type of nasal cavity cancer called \u201colfactory neuroblastoma.\u201d\nAlso known as esthesioneuroblastoma, it\u2019s quite rare but can cause troubling and uncomfortable symptoms. If left untreated, olfactory neuroblastomas can be fatal.\nOlfactory Neuroblastoma Signs, Symptoms, and Complications\nAlthough most olfactory neuroblastomas grow slowly, some cases may progress rapidly and aggressively.\nAggressive tumors are more likely to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body, such as the bones. The first symptom of an olfactory neuroblastoma is often chronic congestion on one side of the nose, which can continue for months or even years before a diagnosis is made. Other symptoms may include:\n\nNasal discharge\nSinusitis\nHeadaches and facial pain\nDecreased sense of smell\nNosebleeds\n\nIf the tumor extends further inside your skull, it can cause additional symptoms depending on its location:\n\nEar pain\nDouble vision\nSeizures\nChanges to mental health\nFacial swelling\nOral problems\n\nIf your doctor suspects that you may have an olfactory neuroblastoma, he or she will perform a variety of tests to diagnose the condition, including a physical exam and imaging tests such as MRI and CT scans.\nEarly and aggressive treatment is generally recommended for this condition. Depending on the specifics of your case, your doctor may suggest surgery, radiation, or a combination of the two.\n\nMinimally invasive surgery: A state-of-the-art, minimally invasive approach called endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) allows surgeons to access the tumor through the natural corridor of the nose, without making an open incision. Surgeons then remove the tumor through the nose and nasal cavities. EEA surgery offers the benefits of no incisions to heal, no disfigurement, fewer complications, and a faster recovery time. UPMC is one of the nation\u2019s leading centers for EEA surgery, and has treated more than 2,000 patients with this technique.\nRadiation therapy and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy has been shown to lower the rate of recurrence following surgery n this form of cancer.