What is Salivary Gland Cancer?

Uncontrolled growth of the salivary gland cells lead to

salivary gland cancer

. This cancer can start from any of the salivary gland situated in the mouth, throat or neck region. This gland produces saliva in your mouth which helps in digestion and keeping the mouth moist. There are three main salivary glands which are behind your jaws and below your tongue:

  • Parotid
  • Sub mandibular
  • Sub lingual

There are many other salivary glands which are smaller in size and are found in lips, cheeks and all round your mouth and throat. This cancer is mostly found in the parotid gland, which is in front of the ear.

  • What are the Symptoms of Salivary Gland Cancer?
  • A lump kind of swelling near the jaw and in the neck or mouth region.
  • Numbness in some parts of face.
  • Weakness of muscles on one side of your face.
  • Frequent pain in the area of a salivary gland.
  • Difficulty in swallowing saliva, food or even water.
  • Trouble in wide opening of mouth.

The reason for this cancer is yet not discovered. However, Doctors say that this occurs when few cells of salivary gland under goes mutations in their DNA. The mutations allow the cells to grow and multiply rapidly.

What are the Types of Salivary Gland Cancer?

Doctors have classified this cancer based on the type of cells involved. Knowing the type of cancer can help the doctor determine which treatment would be best to perform as a cure.

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma
  • Clear cell carcinoma
  • Mucoepidermoid carcinoma
  • Oncocytic carcinoma
  • Acinic cell carcinoma
  • Salivary duct carcinoma

Depending upon the type and location of the tumor, the best surgery or the medication is prescribed. Hence, its always better to have a diagnosis done.

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