What are nasal papillomas, and how are they treated?

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sciencesolve | Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Nasal papillomas are benign growths within the nasal cavity. They have a rough aspect of the surface, that is not similar to polyps' aspect, that is smooth. If the dimensions of nasal papillomas grow, the breathing becomes difficult and the sense of smell is altered. Other complication of nasal papillomas is its internal structure that causes bleeding.

The nasal papillomas are usually caused by viruses, that are similar to HPV (human papilloma virus). If the nasal papilloma invades the underlying tissues of the nose, then this rare form called inverting papilloma can become cancerous.

The treatment options depends on the position and dimensions of the growth. If the nasal papilloma's dimension and position do not affect breathing or the sense of smell, then it is indicated to leave it to its place, because, since it is a wart, if it is removed, it tends to recur somewhere else.

If surgical intervention becomes a must, then there are requested laboratory testing of the cells of removed growth to identify if the nature of the nasal papilloma is benign or cancerous. If cancerous cells are identified, then more aggressive treatments are recommended since the cancerous papillomas can easily spread. The surgical removal of cancerous papillomas needs hospitalization.

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eli468's profile pic

eli468 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Nasal papillomas are tumors, also called warts, that occur within the nasal cavity. These warts can occur due to the same reason you get warts anywhere else on the body. Papillomas are more likely to bleed than polyps, which are a smooth surfaced tumor inside the nose. Normally papillomas are non-cancerous, however there is a special type called inverting papillomas and 10-15% of these are/can be cancerous. 

Nasal papillomas are problematic because, despite being benign most of the time, they can plug the nose, cut off sense of smell, and often bleed.

The treatment for nasal papillomas is removal by surgery. This is so they can be sent to a lab to be tested for cancer. If they are cancerous there may need to be more surgery to remove where the cancer may have spread. Papillomas can recur and can once again be removed by surgical means.

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