How is salivary gland cancer treated?
Treatment for stage III salivary gland cancer depends on whether the cancer is low-grade (slow growing) or high-grade (fast growing). If the cancer is low-grade, treatment may include the following: Surgery with or without lymphadenectomy. Radiation therapy may also be given after surgery.
What is an adenoid cystic carcinoma?
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is an uncommon form of malignant neoplasm that arises within secretory glands, most commonly the major and minor salivary glands of the head and neck. Other sites of origin include the trachea, lacrimal gland, breast, skin, and vulva.
What is the Sialadenitis?
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.
Where is the lymph node in the neck?
Your lymphatic system is a network of organs, vessels and lymph nodes situated throughout your body. Many lymph nodes are located in your head and neck region. Lymph nodes that frequently swell are in this area, as well as in your armpits and groin area.
How long does dry mouth last after radiation?
But this is usually a temporary symptom that clears up about 2 to 8 weeks after treatment ends. Radiation therapy to the head, face, or neck may also cause dry mouth. But it can take 6 months or longer for the salivary glands to start producing saliva again after radiation therapy ends.
What is a right Parotidectomy?
A parotidectomy is the surgical excision (removal) of the parotid gland, the major and largest of the salivary glands. The procedure is most typically performed due to neoplasms (tumors), which are growths of rapidly and abnormally dividing cells. Neoplasms can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
How many salivary glands do you have?
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.
What does the salivary glands do?
The salivary glands produce saliva, which keeps the mouth and other parts of the digestive system moist. It also helps break down carbohydrates (with salivary amylase, formerly known as ptyalin) and lubricates the passage of food down from the oro-pharynx to the esophagus to the stomach.
Where are the parotid glands?
The parotid glands are located in front and beneath the ear. A duct, called Stensen's duct, drains saliva from the parotid gland into the mouth, at the area of the upper cheeks. The submandibular glands are found on both sides, just under and deep to the jaw, towards the back of the mouth.
Where are the salivary glands located?
In addition to numerous small glands in the tongue, palate, lips, and cheeks, human beings have three pairs of major salivary glands that open into the mouth through well-developed ducts. The parotid salivary glands, the largest of the three, are located between the ear and ascending branch of the lower jaw.
Where is the lymph node located?
Lymph also carries white blood cells, which are responsible for protecting the body against viruses and bacteria and may trap cancer cells. Lymph nodes are located throughout the body but the largest groupings are found in the neck, armpits, and groin areas.
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.
What does the saliva do?
The digestive functions of saliva include moistening food, and helping to create a food bolus, so it can be swallowed easily. Saliva contains the enzyme amylase that breaks some starches down into maltose and dextrin. Thus, digestion of food occurs within the mouth, even before food reaches the stomach.
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.
How is salivary gland cancer diagnosed?
A physical exam. Your doctor will feel your jaw, neck and throat for lumps or swelling. Imaging tests. Imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT), may help your doctor determine the size and location of your salivary gland tumor.
What is the cause of salivary gland cancer?
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.
How should salivary glands feel?
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.
Rinse your mouth with warm salt water rinses (one half teaspoon or 3 grams of salt in 1 cup or 240 milliliters of water) to ease pain and keep the mouth moist. To speed up healing, stop smoking if you are a smoker. Drink lots of water and use sugar-free lemon drops to increase the flow of saliva and reduce swelling.
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.
Are parotid tumors common?
Of parotid neoplasms, 70-80% are benign. Except for Warthin tumors, benign tumors of the parotid gland are more likely to occur in women than in men. The median age for occurrence of these tumors is in the fifth decade of life. The most common benign parotid tumor in children is the mixed tumor.
Updated: 3rd October 2019