Ear Cancer Causes, Symptoms, Types, Prevention, and Treatment

Ear is an organ that aids not only in hearing, but also in balancing the body. So any disease or damage to ears can have serious health impact on a person.

Ear cancers are not widely reported, but are as harmful as other types of tumors. Ear consists of outer ear, middle ear, inner ear and the temporal bone, and tumor cells can grow on any of these parts.

Types: The part of the ear where cancerous growth occurs determines the type of cancer

  • Skin cancer of ear – the most commonest of all ear cancers
  • Temporal bone tumors
  • Neuroendocrine adenoma of middle ear

Signs and Symptoms: Contact your ENT specialist, if you suffer from

  • Scaly surfaces on the outer ear
  • White bumps on the outer ear that can spread to the insides
  • Moles that are growing or bleeding
  • Earache (also called Otalgia)
  • Hearing loss
  • Ear discharge, sometimes blood-stained
  • Ringing of the ear (or tinnitus)
  • Dizziness
  • In extreme cases, can also cause face paralysis

Ear Cancer

Causes:

• Overexposure to sun. Ears are often exposed to sun and people generally tend not to apply sunscreen on this part of the face, making them vulnerable to skin cancer of the ears.

• Tumour growth from any other part of the body can also spread to ears.

• People with chronic infection of the middle ear are more vulnerable to tumours.

Prevention of Ear Cancer:

• Avoid overexposure to UV rays and protect your ears with sunscreen lotions

• Take good care of your ears, and always consult and ENT specialist if frequent ear infections trouble you.

Also Read: Home Remedies for Ear Infection

Diagnosis: Tests done to confirm the presence of tumor include

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan

Treatment: Treatment for ear cancer involves surgery and radiotherapy, similar to other types of tumors. However, the type of surgery would also depend on the size of the cancer and which part of the eat if affects.

• If cancer growth is small, then the surgeon will remove tumor and surrounding tissues.

• If cancerous growth has affected inner canal, then the entire ear canal, eardrum and the bones behind are removed during surgery.

• Rarely, the removal of outer ear is required if cancerous growth has affected most of the outer ear. These patients, whose outer ears are surgically removed, can use a prosthetic ear that can capture sound waves and direct them to the inner ear. Generally, hearing is not affected and people are able to hear post surgery.

SOURCE: B-Positive Health Magazine

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