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What are Salivary Gland Tumors?

The Florida Hospital Cancer Institute offers the latest and most effective treatment for salivary gland tumors in Orlando. Salivary glands are located throughout the oral cavity and produce enzymes that work to pre-digest food before it arrives at the stomach.  In addition to many small glands, there are three large pairs of salivary glands. The parotids lie beneath the cheeks and below each ear. The submandibulars are located on the floor of the mouth, but to the sides of the jaw. The madibular glands are also on the floor of the mouth, but underneath the tongue.  Most salivary gland cancers affect the parotids, but curiously, most tumors originating there are benign. For more information about treatment for salivary gland tumors in Orlando, or to schedule an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 or click here to fill out an online assistance form.

Symptoms of Salivary Gland Tumors

Signs and symptoms of salivary gland tumors include:

  • Swelling under the chin or jawbone
  • Numbness or paralysis in facial muscles
  • Persistent face, chin or neck pain
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Risk Factors of Salivary Gland Tumors

As is the case with nearly all head and neck cancers, tobacco (in all its forms) and alcohol use are implicated in the great majority of new cases every year.  Alcohol intensifies tobacco's negative effects, and combined, are the single biggest risk factor.  Poor diet may also contributes significantly.  Many patients have all these risk factors in play at the same time.

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Treatment for Salivary Gland Tumors

Surgical removal is the most common treatment, but can turn quite complicated due to the number and complexity of blood vessels and nerves in the area. Radiation and chemotherapy are often used as part of the treatment plan, especially if the cancer is shown to have spread to other sites. Small, localized tumors are usually easily removed surgically and the prognosis is excellent, providing the cancer has not yet spread.

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