Michigan Woman Learns Strange Ear Ringing Was a Symptom of Rare Cancer
Valerie Page is going to be fine. Today, she is cancer-free but her journey has been a long and tumultuous one.
Valerie ventured out on her own, opening a cosmetic teeth whitening spa in 2016. About that time, the Dearborn woman began hearing a constant ringing in her ears. She also had been battling what she thought was chronic sinus infections for about three years and received unexpected news when doctors removed a polyp from her nose.
Valerie tells Fox 2 that she never expected to learn that she had a rare form of cancer.
“I constantly had a ringing in my ear — all day (and) all night. (I had) a lot of problems, but I never expected to hear ‘sinus cancer,’” she said.
Although doctors were able to remove the polyp that had been causing the ringing in her ears, this was not the end of Valerie's cancer journey.
Valerie's cancer later returned, this time presenting as a tumor in the front of her skull.
Dr. Adam Folbe with the Karmanos Cancer Institute tells the TV station that sometimes symptoms like Valerie's can mirror those often associated with allergies, the common cold, and even COVID-19.
"Things to look for, are like, when one nasal cavity is blocked more than the other," Folbe says. "So nasal congestion that is unilateral or one-sided, nose bleeds, numbness in your cheeks - that could be a sign of cancer."
He goes on to say that even changes in vision can sometimes be indicative of some rare forms of cancer.
Cancer Free and Helping Others
Now, five years later, Page is cancer-free. She's also launched a non-profit organization called 'Unseen Warriors of Head and Neck Cancer.' She says she hopes to provide resources to those suffering from these types of rare head and neck cancer.