Parotid tumors are abnormal cells’ growth or tumors, which form within the parotid glands, which sit in front of the patients’ ears or on each side of the mouth or face of a person. Salivary glands produce saliva, which helps in digesting and chewing food.(1)
Humans have two different parotid glands, which are the largest among the salivary glands. Each parotid secretes serous saliva from the parotid duct within the mouth to help in swallowing, mastication and start the digestion of starches.(2)
Approximately 7 of the total 10 salivary gland tumors start from parotid tumors. However, the positive thing is that most of them are benign ones.(3)
How To Diagnose A Parotid Tumor?
Doctors will recommend the following diagnostic procedures to identify the problem of a parotid tumor.
Biopsy: Biopsy refers to the removal of tissues in small amounts to examine them under a microscopic device. Later, a pathologist analyzes the collected tissue samples.
Needle Biopsy Guided By Ultrasound: In this type of biopsy, the doctor will use images produced from an ultrasound for guiding a needle in the tumor. The ultrasound method uses sound waves for creating a picture of the patients’ internal organs, while pathologists will analyze the samples and evaluate the cells, organs, and tissues for diagnosing the tumor.
Endoscopy: Endoscopy helps your doctor to view the inner organs of your body by using a thin, flexible, and lighted tube i.e. the endoscope. Before the procedure, the doctor will sedate the patient and later, insert a tube from his/her mouth followed by the esophagus and in the small bowel and stomach.
CT Scanning Procedure: A CT scanning procedure creates a 3-d picture of the internal areas of a human body with the help of X-ray collected from different angles. A computer will them combine the captured pictures in a detailed and cross-sectional image to identify the presence of a tumor or any other abnormality. CT scan method is useful for measuring the size of a parotid tumor. In some cases, doctors use a contrast medium called dye to provide improved details of the images.
MRI i.e. Magnetic Resonance Imaging: MRI procedure uses magnetic fields for producing detailed body images i.e. soft tissues’ images, like the base of one’s tongue and tonsils. Magnetic resonance imaging is useful for measuring the size of a parotid tumor.
PET-Scan Procedure: PET-Scan procedure intends to create pictures of tissues and organs within the body. In this case, the doctor will inject a type of radioactive sugar substance in a small amount in the patients’ body. The sugar substance takes up by cells, which are responsible for using most of the energy. As cancer uses energy actively, it absorbs radioactive substances in high amounts. Later, a scanner detects the substance for producing images of the inner organs in a human body.
Panoramic Radiograph: Panoramic radiograph or Panorex is a rotation or panoramic X-ray of both lower and upper jawbones. This method identifies any of the cancerous parotid tumors or evaluates the teeth before providing cancer treatment.(4)
What Is The Best Medicine For A Parotid Tumor?
In most of the cases, doctors consider surgery as the first treatment to cure the problem of the parotid tumor. However, depending on the condition of a patient, doctors recommend certain medicines for the treatment. Accordingly-
- Doctors recommend for systemic therapy, which involves the use of medications for destroying cancer cells. Doctors give the medication from the bloodstream to approach cancer cells in different areas of the body. Systemic therapy via medications is useful for the treatment of later stages of cancer for relieving symptoms. Doctors may give you a few of the drugs during clinical trials or at the early stage, while others are in combination with radiation therapy for determining its effectiveness.
- Chemotherapy is a primary type of systemic therapy, which involves the application of drugs for destroying cancer cells by preventing them from dividing, growing, and creating more cells.
- In the case of systematic therapy, medication enters directly in the bloodstream of a patient from his body. Accordingly, doctors give cancer medicines via an intravenous tube that uses a needle. Alternatively, doctors may provide a capsule or pill to swallow it orally.(5)
To conclude, we should say that there are many procedures to identify parotid tumors and cancerous ones. Yes, medication in the form of systemic therapy is recommendable for patients to improve the condition.
- What are Parotid Tumors or Parotid Mass: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Prognosis, Complications
- What Percentage Of Parotid Tumors Are Malignant & Its Etiology?
- Can Benign Parotid Tumors Become Malignant & How Big Are Tumors?
- What Leads To Parotid Tumors & Can It Be Cured?
- What Happens To Untreated Parotid Tumors & When To Go To Doctor For It?
- Who Is At Risk For Parotid Tumors & Is There A Blood Test For It?
- Best Exercises/Activities/Home Remedies For Parotid Tumors