Salivary Gland Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Options
Warning Signs and
Symptomsof Salivary Gland Cancer
Common Salivary gland
cancer symptoms can be:
Pain in the mouth
Change in vision
Obstruction or nasal congestion
Ulceration of the mucosa overlying the
Loss of movement or paralysis of the
of tumors in the neck
lump in the palace, lips or inside the
These symptoms can also
indicate the presence of a non-malignant (non-cancerous) tumor in the salivary glands. Only a health
professional can establish the diagnosis with certainty after performing diagnostic procedures.
Diagnosis of Salivary Gland Tumor
oncologist may suspect the salivary tumor based on the
symptoms reported by the patient and physical exam. But to be sure, in addition to clinical examination, the doctor will recommend to the patient to undergo an ultrasound
and a CT scan or MRI to confirm the
diagnosis. The diagnosis may also require biopsy for lab
analysis of the specimen after surgical removal of sample taken from the diseased gland.
In case of
confirmation of the
cancerous nature of the tumor, staging will have to be determined by performing additional
tests to demonstrate the existence of
other cancerous cells in other locations of the body
that would migrate into the lymph
nodes via the lymphatic circulation, or spreading to distant organs.
Salivary Gland Cancer Treatment
Salivary gland cancer
treatment is administered by cancer
specialists or oncologists. A team of many
professionals may work together: specialists in surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. These doctors
talk with the patient and consider many aspect of his condition to
choose the best treatment plan.
The treatment plans are designed to meet the unique
needs of the patient. In general, decisions
regarding salivary gland cancer treatment are based on the
stage of cancer, the grade of the cancer and location of the tumor. The health status of the patients is also
taken in consideration. Conventionally, three forms of therapy are mostly used to fight salivary gland
generally, cancer of the parotid
requires surgical removal. A
dissection of the lymph nodes is
frequently associated with the surgery:
removal of a portion of the parotid gland,
to treat a low-grade tumor that affects superficial part
of the parotid gland.
Total parotidectomy – surgical
removal of the deep part of the parotid gland, to
treat tumor that rapidly invade the parotid gland.
Submandibular sialadenectomy- surgical excision of submandibular
for tumors of the submandibular gland.
lymph node dissection)-
which is performed to remove
lymph nodes if the cancer has
spread to them.
in the treatment of tumors of the sublingual gland and
advanced forms of salivary cancer, radiation therapy and
chemotherapy may be recommended.
Radiation Therapy- external radiotherapy may be
used after surgery. In case surgery is
not possible or if it would cause significant complications, radiation therapy can be used along with chemotherapy. It consists of
using beams of intense
energy to kill cancer cells in the salivary glands.
Chemotherapy - The importance of chemotherapy in
salivary gland cancer has not been acknowledged by all cancer
professionals; although some oncologists believe there is evidence of
its efficacy in treating certain types of cancers
of the salivary glands. Chemotherapy is mostly given to patients who decide
to not undergo radiotherapy or surgery. It can also be used salivary
gland cancer treatment to fight recurrent tumors or
tumors that do not respond to surgery and radiotherapy.
Salivary Cancer Causes and Risk
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