Nasal Fungi Cancer

Nasal Fungi

Chronic Sinusitis Patients – Possible causes may be chronic inflammation and/or Mycotoxins produced by Nasal Fungi.

CHRONIC FUNGAL SINUSITIS AND SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED CANCER RISK.  Chronic exposure to mold/fungi and other micrograms are estimated to cause over 90% of cases of chronic sinusitis 1. A number of studies have reported that chronic sinusitis is associated with a significantly increases risk of many cancers. A large recent Chinese study of 32,677 chronic sinusitis patients and  98,031 controls examined rates of total cancers and specific cancers in this large cohort 2  Overall cancer rates were significantly higher by 24% in the chronic rhinosinusitis patients as compared to controls  (Odds Ratio or OR 1.24, 95% Confidence Interval or CI of 1.17-1.30) 2. Rates of specific cancers were also significantly increased in CRS patients for many cancer types including:

    • Head and Neck Cancer OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.33-1.75
    • Colon and Rectum Cancer OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.09-1.39
    • Liver Cancer OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.09-14.1
    • Skin Cancer OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.05-1.79
    • Breast Cancer OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.10-13.36
    • Prostate Cancer OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.54.-2.22



The Xia researchers suggested that the chronic inflammation and common antibiotic usage seen in many chronic sinusitis patients may be a trigger for higher cancer rates 2. Another possibility is that nasal fungi are producing significant quantities of mycotoxins in the nose and nasal passages 3,4.   Hooper at al reported that measurable amounts of the following mycotoxins were found in nasal tissue samples- aflatoxins found in 6 out 47 (13%) nasal tissue samples, ochratoxins found in 1 out of 27 (4%) nasal tissue samples, and trichothcenes found in 24 out of 63 nasal tissue samples (38%) 4. Treatment with surgery and/or antifungal drugs like intranasal amphotericin B has been associated with significant reductions of mycotoxins in tissue and/or urine as well as significant improvements in health symptoms such as chronic rhinosinusitis, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, depression, anxiety, and troubles with cognitive function 4,5.

Research and References:

1. Ponikau JU, Sherris DA, Kern EB, et al. The diagnosis and incidence of allergic fungal sinusitis. Mayo Clin Proc. 1999;74(9):877-884.

2. Xia CX, Kao YW, Qin L, Chen MC, Shia BC, Wu SY. Cancer risk in chronic rhinosinusitis: a propensity score matched case-control cohort study. American journal of translational research. 2019;11(11):7146-7156.

3. Brewer JH, Thrasher JD, Hooper D. Chronic illness associated with mold and mycotoxins: is naso-sinus fungal biofilm the culprit? Toxins. 2013;6(1):66-80.

4. Hooper DG, Bolton VE, Guilford FT, Straus DC. Mycotoxin detection in human samples from patients exposed to environmental molds. Int J Mol Sci. 2009;10(4):1465-1475.

5. Dennis D, Thrasher J. Surgical and managment of sinus mucosal and systematic mycotoxicosis. Otolaryngol Reconstructive Surgery. 2017;3(1):117- Pages 111-117.

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