Categorized | Cancer

Salivary Gland Cancer

Salivary gland cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the cells of the salivary gland, which is the organ that produces saliva. The salivary glands are categorised into sublingual (under the tongue), parotid (in front of the ears) and submandibular (below the jawbone). The cells become abnormal and form a growth which results in a benign or malignant tumour. Benign tumours are diagnosed more frequently than cancerous tumours, since salivary gland cancer is considered to be quite rare.

There is very little evidence that genetic conditions play a role in increasing the chance of developing salivary gland cancer. The factors that increase the risk of developing salivary gland cancer are exposure to radiation as well as radiotherapy to the head and neck and working with hazardous materials and carcinogenous particles. Moreover, it is thought that people over 50 are slightly more likely to develop salivary gland cancer. The early signs that may warn about salivary gland cancer include one swollen side of the face, usually below the jaw, next to the ear as well as in the cheek or lip and a numb sensation or loss of control of one side of the face.

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