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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Salivary Gland Tumors: Treatment & Monitoring

Salivary Gland Tumors

Alternate Names : Salivary Gland Neoplasms, Salivary Gland Cancer

Salivary Gland Tumors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

For noncancerous growths, monitoring is appropriate. It may be necessary to remove some forms of noncancerous tumors if they look like they may become cancerous. Depending on the recurrence rate associated with the type of tumor and its location, all or part of a gland is sometimes removed.

For cancerous tumors, treatment depends on the type of cancer involved. Treatment may involve removal of a portion of the gland, or the entire gland. Salivary gland tumors can spread to nearby lymph nodes. If this occurs, a radical neck dissection is necessary. A neck dissection is an operation that is done for individuals with cancer of the head and neck.

The purpose is to remove the lymph nodes in the neck Radiation therapy may also be used to treat salivary gland tumors. To date, there are no effective chemotherapy protocols for salivary tumors.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

There are possible side effects with any surgery. These include bleeding, infection, and allergic reactions to anesthesia. Another side effect is nerve damage. This could cause a loss of feeling or function of the face or tongue. If radiation therapy is needed, damage to any remaining salivary glands may occur. This is accompanied by dry mouth and problems with dental cavities.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

Noncancerous tumors do not require further treatment. Cancerous growths may or may not need further treatment, depending on the type of tumor. Follow up also depends of the type of tumor. More aggressive tumors require longer periods of follow up. Less aggressive tumors do not need as regular or as prolonged a follow up.

How is the condition monitored?

If a person has a cancerous salivary gland tumor that has been treated, he or she should exam his or her neck regularly. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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Salivary Gland Tumors: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Mark Loury, MD
Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
Date Reviewed: 07/01/01

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