Olfactory Neuroblastoma- Symptoms and Treatment

Olfactory neuroblastoma sounds like a complicated condition but breaking the name down makes it easy to get an understanding. Olfactory in the name refers to the olfactory system i.e. the sensory system of the human body or the system of smell. In the most laymen terms it can be used to refer to the nose in humans, since the nose helps draw in the smell. And neuroblastoma usually refers to a malignant tumor which is made of neuroblasts.

Put these together and the resulting condition refers to the development of malignant tumors in the nose. This is a very rare condition and is also known by the name- esthesioneuroblastomas.

olfactory neuroblastoma symptoms and treatment


Since it is a rare condition, it is important to account for all of its possible symptoms. Making a note of these symptoms can help one diagnose them and catch the condition. Here are the symptoms of Olfactory Neuroblastoma:

  • The development of tumors in the nose leads to nasal obstruction which is hence the most common symptom of this condition.
  • Frequent and mostly unexplained nosebleeds (also referred to as epistaxis) are another symptom.
  • Nasal discharge can also occur as a symptom of this condition.
  • The occurrence of facial pain or/ and facial numbness also point towards Olfactory Neuroblastoma.
  • An irregular sort of discharge from the nose/ nasal cavity and excessive tearing of the eyes (i.e. lacrimation) are both seen as symptoms of this neuroblastoma.
  • In some cases formation of a mass in the neck can be a symptom of the existence of a tumor in nose.

Possible Treatments

Though rare, olfactory neuroblastoma is a serious condition and the malignant tumors must be treated as soon as possible. There are multiple ways of treating this condition, including:

  • Radiation Therapy: under this procedure the professionals use varied forms of radiation including x-rays to destroy the tumor cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy comprises of use of varied drug combination to get rid of or destroy the cancerous cells in the tumor.
  • Surgery: This is usually the last resort as far as treatment goes. Most professionals prefer getting rid of tumor with radiation or chemo, but if none of them are effective the next best option is to go for surgical removal of the tumor.

There are many different kinds of olfactory neuroblastomas but, either way it is best to consult a doctor as soon as one fears the existence of tumors. It is also important to follow the right course of treatment.