Olfactory Neruoblastoma: Symptom, Life Expectancy


Olfactory neruoblastoma is a rare cancer that begins to grow in the nerves and tissues behind the nose. It may develop in the empty space behind the nose or upward toward the bone located between the eyes.

Olfactory neruoblastoma has an influence on the patients’ sense of smell and the function of the nose.

The other name of olfactory neruoblastoma is esthesioneuroblastoma.

Cause & Risk Factor

The exact causes of olfactory neruoblastoma are still unknown. The medical experts believe that the olfactory epithelium is the most conjectured place where it is formed.

The factors that may contribute to the development of the tumor include

  • smoking
  • pollution
  • genetics


The typical symptoms of olfactory neruoblastoma include:

  • Chronic congestion on one side of the nose
  • Loss of smell
  • Sinus infections
  • Pain

Also, there are some additional symptoms when the tumor becomes larger.

  • Facial swelling
  • Neurologic symptoms
  • Oral and/or vision problems


Physical exams and imaging tests are needed in the diagnosis. Because olfactory neruoblastoma is a rare cancer, the clinician will need to distinguish it from other cancer by a lot of tests.

Physical examination

At first, a thorough physical examination of the patient’s eyes, throat and nose will be conducted to make sure if there are any obvious signs.

Endoscopic examination

The doctor will insert endoscope into the mouth or the nose of the patient.

Intranasal biopsy

This helps the doctor to diagnose the cancer at early stage.

CT scan and MRI scans


The typical treatment for olfactory neruoblastoma is a combination of

  • radiation therapy,
  • chemotherapy,
  • and surgery.

In most cases, surgery is the first choice.

Life Expectancy

Survival rates are used to know the life expectancy of a certain type of cancer. Usually, a 5-year survival rate is adopted. The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed.

For olfactory neruoblastoma, there are three different groups of survival rates.

Low-risk group

The percentage of these patients who have 5-year survival rate is higher than 95%.

Intermediate-risk group

The percentage of these patients who have 5-year survival rate is between 90% and 95%.

High-risk group

The percentage of the last group of patients who have 5-year survival rate is between 40% and 50%.

Keywords: olfactor neruoblastoma; esthesioneuroblastoma.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.