Is Parotid Tumor A Progressive Disease & Alternative Treatment For It?

Parotid tumors are the most frequent salivary gland tumors.(1)

Both benign and malignant tumors present as slow-growing painless masses, but in a few cases, a malignant tumor can present with the sudden growth in the size of the mass.(2)

Is Parotid Tumor A Progressive Disease?

Histological examination of parotid tumors in most patients has shown that almost 80% of cases are benign, whereas only 20% of them are malignant. In both cases, tumor growth takes place in a slow progressive manner. Once the tumor starts growing, it displaces the neighboring structures instead of infiltrating them.(1) However, studies show that there is no consistent correlation between the rate of tumor growth and its type, i.e., whether benign or malignant.(2)

Out of all parotid tumors, only one-third of the malignant masses present with facial palsy, skin infiltration, and obvious signs of neck metastases in their clinical history.(1) Physical examination plays an important role as it is the first diagnostic tool that guides the doctors in determining the nature and type of tumor. Further investigations like Ultrasonography (USG) that detect masses present in the superficial lobe of the parotid gland, CT scan and MRI that are capable of detecting masses lying in the deeper parts of the gland are performed. In some cases, FNAB (Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy) is also indicated to reach a conclusion and planning of surgical intervention for malignancy.(2)

Most of the parotid tumors are treatable when detected in their early stages. The prognosis will vary from person to person, depending upon the histological type and staging of the tumor. Fatalities that occur are not usually due to parotid tumors but as a result of metastases to other organs especially to the lungs.(2)

Surgery has remained the primary mode of treatment for all parotid tumors over decades. Parotidectomy is a conservative mode of treatment that has helped cure many patients and has also reduced cases of morbidity. For benign parotid tumors, a partial or superficial parotidectomy is performed, whereas deep tumors are resected by total parotidectomy. In cases of a small mobile superficial lump, a surgeon can also go for extracapsular dissection. However, this technique requires expertise and therefore only an advanced experienced surgeon should perform this technique.(1)

Alternative Treatment For Parotid Tumors

Alternative treatment methods are sometimes helpful in relieving symptoms of the patient, but they are not capable of curing the parotid tumor. They have proven to work by easing the discomfort of the patient, making them feel better. Some people also consider using complementary methods along with regular medical care to get rid of symptoms. These methods include the use of herbs, vitamins, and special diets, massage, or acupuncture.(3)

People with cancer need support and necessary information that will allow them to make informed decisions about themselves. There are innumerable support services available for patients to help ease their anxiety and also provide financial aid, nutritional advice, or spiritual help.(3)

A change in lifestyle has been shown to help patients with few side effects that people might experience as a result of disease or therapy.

Maintain good oral hygiene to fight germs and bacteria is essential. If a person feels fatigued, then gentle exercises can help that include brisk walking or a moderate form of activity that can help cancer patients. Massage therapy also helps to reduce fatigue with the help of pressure techniques that target specific sore muscles to provide relief. A lot of massage therapists are specially trained to work with cancer patients making it easy for them as well as the patients. A person can also try other relaxation techniques such as listening to music or writing and painting as they like, to make them feel better.(3)

Lastly, it is important to eat healthily and take good rest to help your body to replenish at a faster rate. Also, ask your doctor any questions that concern you for more effective care.

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