Salivary Gland Cancer

Parotid-Gland-Cancer

Cancer begins in your cells, which are the building blocks of your body. Normally, your body forms new cells as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes this process goes wrong.

Cancer begins in your cells, which are the building blocks of your body. Normally, your body forms new cells as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes this process goes wrong. New cells grow even when you don’t need them, and old cells don’t die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass called a tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren’t cancer while malignant ones are. Cells from malignant tumors can invade nearby tissues. They can also break away and spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis. Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is. Most treatment plans may include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Some may involve hormone therapy, immunotherapy or other types of biologic therapy, or stem cell transplantation.

Around the mouth we find the salivary glands whose function is to produce saliva that through ducts leads to different areas of the mouth, protecting the teeth from decay and moistening the food, thus facilitating chewing and swallowing.

The main salivary glands are the parotid glands located in front of the ears in each cheek, two submandibular glands, and two sublingual glands located below the floor of the mouth.

In cancers of the salivary glands, cancer cells form in the tissues of the salivary glands, being risk factors the age, the treatment with radiotherapy in the area of the neck and the head for other types of cancer, and a higher prevalence was found in people who are exposed by their work to certain substances.

Symptoms such as difficulty in swallowing or opening the mouth, the presence of a painless lump in the area of the cheek, ear, lip, jaw or mouth are observed — numbness or weakness in the face — also, fluid drainage from the ear.

The diagnostic procedures are the physical examination and history, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography, positron emission tomography (PET) scan, endoscopy, and biopsy.

Treatment

  1. Surgery
  2. Radiation therapy:
    External radiotherapy
    Fast neutron radiation therapy
    Photon-beam radiation therapy
    Internal radiation therapy
  3. A clinical trial of chemotherapy.

Certain factors affect the treatment options and the prognosis (possibility of recovery).

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