Is Parotid Tumor A Serious Condition & Can It Be Reversed?

Parotid tumor takes place in the parotid glands, which are present at the front of the ears and they are the major salivary glands. Even though most of the tumors are benign, a few of the parotid tumors are malignant tumors.(1)

Parotid tumors are of abnormal cells’ growth i.e. tumors, which form within the parotid glands. As a part of salivary glands, they help in producing saliva for chewing and digestion of food.(2)

Is Parotid Tumor A Serious Condition?

Seriousness Of Parotid Tumor Depends On Its Underlying Symptoms

The parotid tumor is a type of salivary gland tumor and its possible symptoms are-

  • Formation of a lump or swelling in the cheek, mouth, neck, or jaw
  • Pain in the mouth, ear, cheek, jaw, and neck, which never goes away
  • The feeling of numbness in the affected area of your face
  • A huge difference between the shape or size of the right and left sides of your neck and/or face
  • Muscular weakness on a particular side of the face
  • Fluid draining from your ear
  • Difficulty in swallowing of food items
  • Difficulty in opening the mouth widely

Most of the signs and symptoms even take place because of benign i.e. noncancerous type of salivary gland tumors and other related conditions.(3)

Seriousness Of Parotid Tumor Or Salivary Gland Tumor Depends On Its Stages

Your doctor will identify your cancer stage after he/she conducts a physical examination and collects initial results based on imaging tests or biopsy of the parotid gland. In most of the cases, patients may be in either of the four stages i.e.-

Stage 1 Of Parotid Tumor: Stage 1 highlights the initial stage of the tumor, where its size is up to 2centimeters and the tumor fails to reach the lymph nodes.

Stage 2 Of Parotid Tumor: Stage 2 mentions a tumor, which ranges from 2centimeters to 4centimeters. In this case, cancer does not reach lymph nodes.

Stage 3 Of Parotid Tumor: Stage 3 highlights that the tumor is either exceeds the 4-centimeter size or spreads to any of the lymph nodes within the neck.

Stage 4 Of Parotid Tumor: Stage 4 is the advanced stage of the parotid tumor of salivary gland tumors. It may be of any size and may spread to the surrounding soft tissue. During this stage, cancer spreads to a large lymph node i.e. exceeding 3-centimeters and on the similar side of the neck as similar to the tumor. Alternatively, cancer may spread to multiple lymph nodes of almost any size on the neck as similar to the side of the tumor.

Parotid tumor in stage 4 also causes the formation of a lymph node on any size present on the opposite side of the patient’s neck. Moreover, the tumor or cancer may present in the jawbone, skin, facial nerve, ear canal, carotid artery, or skull base. Along with this, a parotid tumor in the final stage reaches to distance body parts beyond the neck and head.(4)

Can Parotid Tumor Be Reversed?

Yes, the problem of the parotid tumor is reversible, as in most of the cases its symptoms go away with home-based and non-surgical treatments. Doctors will recommend the underlying treatment based on your age, symptoms, and physical health. Your treatment also depends on the severity of your condition. These include the following-

Initial Treatments Recommend By The Doctor

Your doctor will start with a few of the initial basic treatments, like-

  • Increase of fluids
  • Applying moist heat on the affected area
  • Massaging of the affected gland and the surrounding duct
  • Use of pain medications
  • Sucking on suitable candies to promote the secretion of saliva
  • Stopping the use of any medication, which reduces the production of saliva if it is possible medically

Advanced Treatment Options Recommended By The Doctor

Most of the symptoms thus go away in no time with the aforementioned treatments. However, if you do not see any improvement in your symptom with time, you have to undergo other treatment procedures-

Lithotripsy: This type of treatment procedure uses various shock waves for breaking up the stone.

Sialo Endoscopy And Wire Basket Retrieval: Both of these treatment procedures involve the removal of stone from the duct.

Open Surgery: In the case of open surgery, your doctor will remove the parotid duct completely. This method is recommendable when other options fail. In most cases, the parotid gland works normally after your doctor removes the blockage. Hence, the parotid tumor problem is reversible.(5)

Conclusion

To conclude, we should say that seriousness of parotid tumors depends on its symptoms and stages. However, the problem is curable in most cases with basic treatments. On the other side, if basic treatment fails to resolve the issue, doctors recommend additional treatment procedures.

References:

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