Can salivary gland cancer be cured?
Stage IV salivary gland cancers are very hard to cure, particularly if the cancer has spread to distant organs. Some of these cancers might be treated with surgery if the doctor feels all of the cancer can be removed.
Most parotid gland cancers are slow-growing and treatable if found in the early stage. Prognosis varies according to histologic type and stage. A combination of radiation therapy and surgery is usually applied to treat this malignant tumor.
- Salivary gland neoplasms are rare in children. Most tumors (65%) are benign, with hemangiomas being the most common, followed by pleomorphic adenomas. In children, 35% of salivary gland neoplasms are malignant. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the most common salivary gland malignancy in children.
- Most parotid gland cancers are slow-growing and treatable if found in the early stage. Prognosis varies according to histologic type and stage. A combination of radiation therapy and surgery is usually applied to treat this malignant tumor.
- Salivary gland cancer facts
- Salivary gland cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that involves abnormal (malignant) growth of salivary gland cells.
- Factors that increase the risk of salivary gland cancer include older age, radiation therapy to the head and neck, or exposure to cancer-causing chemicals at work.
Mucoepidermoid carcinomas are the most common type of salivary gland cancer. Most start in the parotid glands. They develop less often in the submandibular glands or in minor salivary glands inside the mouth. These cancers are usually low grade, but they can also be intermediate or high grade.
- Besides the many minute glands that secrete saliva, there are three major pairs of salivary glands: the parotid, the submandibular, and the sublingual glands. The parotid glands, the largest of the pairs, are located at the side of the face, below and in front of each ear.
- The parotid gland is a major salivary gland in many animals. In humans, the two parotid glands are present on either side of the mouth and in front of both ears. They are the largest of the salivary glands.
- Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma, abbreviated ca ex PA, is a type of cancer typically found in the parotid gland. It arises from the benign tumour pleomorphic adenoma. Its prognosis depends on the stage. Early tumour have essentially a benign behaviour.
Signs and symptoms of a salivary gland tumor may include:
- A lump or swelling on or near your jaw or in your neck or mouth.
- Numbness in part of your face.
- Muscle weakness on one side of your face.
- Persistent pain in the area of a salivary gland.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Trouble opening your mouth widely.
- Next, your doctor will examine your head and neck, including the area inside your mouth. The doctor will press gently on areas of your cheeks to feel for swelling of the parotid gland. He or she also will feel under your jaw for enlarged salivary glands. Tell your doctor if there is any tenderness during the exam.
- Treatment of Recurrent Salivary Gland Cancer. Cancer is called recurrent if it comes back after treatment. Recurrence can be local (in or near the same place it started) or distant (spread to organs such as the lungs or liver). Cancers that come back in distant parts of the body are usually treated with chemo.
- Sialadenitis is an infection of the salivary glands. It is usually caused by a virus or bacteria . The parotid (in front of the ear) and submandibular (under the chin) glands are most commonly affected. Sialadenitis may be associated with pain, tenderness, redness, and gradual, localized swelling of the affected area.
Updated: 3rd October 2019