ABOUT Salivary Gland Cancer -Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
What Is Salivary Gland Cancer?
Salivary gland cancer is a malignant tumor that begins in the glands of the mouth, cheeks, or salivary glands. Saliva is a digestive fluid that is produced by three sets of major salivary glands located on the inside lining of the cheek as well as numerous minor salivary glands located along the inside walls of both sides and roof of your mouth. Cancerous growths can start anywhere but will most often originate from one or more major salivary glands.
The most common symptom associated with this cancer is a lump in one particular location which does not disappear after a few weeks and/or keeps coming back even if it's been removed.
What Are The Causes Of Salivary Gland Cancer?
Salivary gland cancer is rare. It can occur as a result of multiple causes including radiation exposure, environmental pollution, occupational exposure, and hereditary factors.
What Are The Risk Factors Of Salivary Gland Cancer?
Salivary glands are normally tightly packed with glandular tissue composed of connective tissues, fibrous tissue, and glands. When cancerous cells develop in any of these components of the salivary gland they can spread to other organs and systems. There are also some rare instances where the cancer cells can travel to lymph nodes or distant blood vessels.
What Are The Symptoms Of Salivary Gland Cancer?
The symptoms may be vague, include a lot of swelling that does not respond to local medication, or they may be more specific, such as pain associated with eating or swallowing, or pain associated with toothpaste. Some patients have symptoms that only occur at night.
Several cancers develop in the salivary glands. The most common cancer of the salivary gland is cancer called adenoid cystic carcinoma, which develops from a mucous gland called an adenoid. The second type of cancer of the salivary gland is called mucoepidermoid carcinoma, which develops from one type of mucous gland called an acinus. This type is more likely to affect men than women and has a better prognosis than some other types of salivary cancer, although it can still be quite serious.
How Is The Diagnosis Of Salivary Gland Cancer Is Made?
A biopsy is the only way to diagnose a salivary gland tumor. To obtain a tissue sample, a fine needle is passed through the skin and into the tumor as guided by X-ray or ultrasound. At times, an incision will also be necessary if the mass is large or in a location that makes biopsy difficult.
There are many ways of preparing the cells for study under a microscope, ranging from simple alcohol dehydration to more specialized techniques such as immunohistochemical staining and electron microscopy.
Symptoms are carefully sought, including mass progression, pain, sensory loss, or trismus. In addition, symptoms including facial weakness, facial asymmetry, facial spasm or twitching, and eye symptoms are sought. The patient's medical history is queried, including prior radiation exposure and history of skin or other malignancy.
Frequently Asked Questions On Salivary Gland Tumor
What Is A Salivary Gland Tumor?
Salivary gland tumors are rare. About 40 per 100,000 people will develop one by age 85. They most commonly occur in the parotid gland, which is just behind the ear under the jaw.
The tumor, called adenoid cystic carcinoma, can also originate in an acinus of the parotid gland (called mucoepidermoid carcinoma). Tumors can also arise in other glands, such as about 18% of all cases of pituitary tumors.
What Is The Treatment For Primary Tumors In The Head And Neck Area?
A very common category of complications associated with cancers that develop in or around the mouth region is infection.
This occurs due to an individual's inability to cleanse and combat bacteria in their mouth. Treatment usually consists of antibiotics and in some situations, surgery, to remove infected tissue.