Salivary Glands Cancer

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Salivary gland tumors are growths of abnormal cells (tumors) that begin in the salivary glands. Salivary gland tumors are rare.

Salivary glands make saliva, which aids in digestion, keeps your mouth moist and supports healthy teeth. You have three pairs of major salivary glands under and behind your jaw — parotid, sublingual and submandibular. Many other tiny salivary glands are in your lips, inside your cheeks, and throughout your mouth and throat.

Salivary gland tumors can begin in any of your salivary glands. Most are noncancerous (benign), but sometimes they can be cancerous. Most salivary gland tumors occur in the parotid glands.

Treatment for salivary gland tumors is usually with surgery to remove the tumor. People with salivary gland cancers may need additional treatments.

Symptoms

  • difficulties in opening their mouth completely
  • weak facial muscles on one side of the face
  • a swelling or lump around the jaw, mouth, or neck area
  • a noticeable difference in the shape of one side of the neck or face
  • a numb feeling in part of the face
  • constant pain in the salivary gland

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