Is parotid gland cancer curable?
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.
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.
- 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.
- Salivary stones, or sialoliths. The most common cause of swollen salivary glands, salivary stones are buildups of crystallized saliva deposits. When saliva can't exit through the ducts, it backs up into the gland, causing pain and swelling.
- 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.
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.
- Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the most common type of minor salivary gland malignancy in adults. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma can also be found in other organs, such as bronchi, lacrimal sac and thyroid. Mucicarmine staining is one stain used by pathologist for detection.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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