The best-known and standard care of treatment of parotid tumor involve surgery for the removal of the tumor.1
In some instances, surgical removal of the tumor may not be a good option, in such cases, radiation therapy with/without chemo will be the main line of treatment.2
In addition to surgery, patients with salivary gland cancer may require additional treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy.3, 4
What Is The Best Treatment For A Parotid Tumor?
Surgery is the best-known and standard care of treatment of parotid tumor surgery is done for the removal of the tumor. Surgery involves:
- Removing a portion of the salivary gland
- Completely remove the tumor
- Removal of lymph nodes in your neck
The entire removal of the parotid gland is called parotidectomy. This is a surgical incision during which the parotid gland, the major and largest salivary glands are removed. Numerous reports have shown the oncological outcome achieved by parotidectomy.1
Radiation Therapy – In some instances, surgical removal of the tumor may not be a good option, in such cases, radiation therapy with/without chemo will be mainline of treatment. When the tumor is very large or located in a place where removal is risky, radiation therapy is a recommended option. A newer type of radiation therapy that uses neutrons are helpful in the treatment of certain types of salivary gland tumors.2
Parotid tumors are curable when diagnosed early. The diagnosis of salivary gland tumor involves the following procedures:
Physical Examination – This diagnosis involves the general examination of the body to determine the general signs of health. It will inspect for the presence/absence of tenderness, erythema, and warmth.
MRI Study – Magnetic resonance imaging determines the deep and superficial location of the parotid mass that cannot be determined by physical examination of the tumor. Tumor classifications also become challenging with sonography yielding the lowest outcomes whereas MRI offers the highest accuracy.
CT Scan – Computed tomography offers more accurate diagnoses of the cancer location and the extent of its spread. This helps in differentiating between malignant and benign cases.
Coping Methods For Parotid Tumor
If you are suffering from salivary gland cancer or close to someone who is suffering from this condition, you should know information that can help you cope with this condition. In addition to surgery, patients with salivary gland cancer may require additional treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Several cancer support communities help patients living with or affected with salivary gland tumors to cope with physical, practical, emotional, and psychological care.
Swallowing difficulty is a typical symptom of the parotid tumor, so when you experience such difficulties know the importance of a healthy diet through a Head and Neck cancer specialist. Your healthcare team may play an active role in your treatment and help with your eating problems. For speech problems, you may work with a speech pathologist for restoring speech.3, 4
Salivary gland cancer is a rare type of cancer in which there is an abnormal mass of cancerous cells formed in the tissues of the salivary gland. A mass or lump in the jaw/cheek or the front of the ears is a typical symptom of a parotid tumor.
The exact cause of the condition remains unknown however medical theories states that exposure to certain types of radiation or carcinogens can enhance the risk of developing this cancer.
- “Salivary Gland Tumors.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 30 July 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/salivary-gland-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354155.
- Bussu, F, et al. “Clinical Approach and Treatment of Benign and Malignant Parotid Masses, Personal Experience.” Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica : Organo Ufficiale Della Societa Italiana Di Otorinolaringologia e Chirurgia Cervico-Facciale, Pacini Editore SpA, June 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3185824/.
- Grundmann, O, et al. “Sensitivity of Salivary Glands to Radiation: from Animal Models to Therapies.” Journal of Dental Research, SAGE Publications, Oct. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2882712/.
- “Salivary Gland Cancer.” American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/cancer/salivary-gland-cancer.html.
- What are Parotid Tumors or Parotid Mass: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Prognosis, Complications
- What Is The Most Common Parotid Tumor & How Do You Know If You Have It?
- What Percentage Of Parotid Tumors Are Malignant & Its Etiology?