An ENT Doctor Discusses Different Ear Cancers

ENT doctor on ear cancer

What is Ear Cancer?

Ear cancer is a cancer which develops in the ear, the ear canal or middle ear and inner ear. Ear cancer is a rare cancer and it is even more uncommon to see it develop inside the ear.The most common cancers of the ear develop in the skin of the outer ear. About 5 of 100 skin cancers occur on the ear. The majority of the ear cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. There are other types of ear cancers, which include basal cell cancer, adenoid cystic, melanoma and adenocarcinoma.


Knowing the signs and symptoms of the different types of ear cancers is the most preventative action one can take. After reading through the symptoms, if you can relate to any of them, make an appointment with an ENT doctor at The Hearing Doctors (ENT Associates of South Florida) immediately.


Although the cause of ear cancers is largely unknown, people with a history of chronic ear infections (10 years or more) have a higher risk of developing cancer in the middle ear.


Signs & Symptoms of Ear Cancers

Depending on the location of the tumor, the symptoms of the ear cancer vary. In some patients, swelling of lymph nodes in the neck may occur. The most common symptom of ear cancer is in the middle ear and it is discharge with a little blood. Other symptoms may include earache and hearing loss. Sometimes, mobility on the side of the face where the ear is hurting is limited. Symptoms of cancer in the inner ear range from hearing loss, pain, headache and dizziness and tinnitus (noises, such a ringing, heard in the ear).



The most common type of ear cancer is squamous cell cancer. Other types of cancer of the middle or inner ear include:

  • basal cell cancer
  • melanoma
  • adenoid cystic
  • adenocarcinoma



An ENT doctor from The Hearing Doctors (ENT Associates of South Florida) will examine you and blood tests will be taken to check your general health. To confirm a diagnosis of cancer a small amount of tissue (biopsy) is taken from the abnormal area of the ear and then examined further. A local anaesthetic is usually given to numb the area so you will not feel any pain. Biopsies of the middle ear are more difficult so you may be given a general anaesthetic instead. If the biopsy shows signs of cancer, an MRI scan or a CT scan will be taken to better understand which treatment you need.

Contact Us Today

If you or someone you know has any of these symptoms or fear you may have ear cancer call The Hearing Doctors (ENT Associates of South Florida) at our Coral Springs location at 954-796-0400 or online at immediately. Together we will figure out the type of ear cancer you have and a treatment plan. Do not wait to make an appointment, the sooner you come in, the sooner you will feel better. An ENT doctor at our office can help you with early detection and treatment.

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