Salivary gland tumours


Salivary gland tumours usually present as a lump or swelling in the affected gland which may or may not have been present for a long time. The lump may be accompanied by symptoms of duct blockage (e.g. xerostomia). Usually, in their early stages it is not possible to distinguish a benign tumour from a malignant one. One of the key differentiating symptoms of a malignant growth is nerve involvement. For example signs of facial nerve damage (e.g facial palsy) are associated with malignant parotid tumours. Facial pain, and paraesthesia are also very often associated with malignant tumours. Other red flag symptoms which may suggest malignancy and warrant further investigation are fixation of the lump to the overlying skin, ulceration and induration of the mucosa.

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

Most patients with early-stage lesions that are resectable generally tend to undergo surgery as their initial therapeutic approach, whereas those with advanced or unresectable cancers tend to be treated with radiotherapy (RT) alone or chemoradiotherapy (CRT), which hampered the comparison of the efficacy of RT alone with that of surgery combined with adjuvant RT. But some effort had been made to reflect the role of surgery in salivary gland tumours.

Salivary gland tumours