Juvenile angiofibroma occurs most commonly among adolescent boys. The tumor contains many blood vessels. It can grow slowly, spreading into the area around the brain and into the orbits of the eye.
Typically, the tumor causes a stuffy nose or headache, often with nosebleeds, which are sometimes very severe. The face may swell, or an eye may bulge. A mass may protrude from the nose, or the nose may become disfigured. If the tumor grows slowly, people may have few symptoms.
Doctors suspect the diagnosis of juvenile angiofibroma based on symptoms.
Another imaging test called angiography (x-rays of blood vessels taken after a dye is injected in the veins to outline them) is often done so that the tumor's blood vessels can be blocked (embolization) before surgery, which reduces bleeding.
A partial biopsy of the tumor may be done but is usually avoided because it can result in severe bleeding.