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Parotid (Salivary Gland) Cancer     (go here for minor salivary gland cancer)

The parotid gland is the most common site of major salivary gland tumors, and the palate the most common site of minor salivary gland tumors. Approximately 20% to 25% of parotid tumors, 35% to 40% of submandibular tumors, 50% of palate tumors, and 95% to 100% of sublingual gland tumors are malignant.

 For basic information about parotid gland cancer go here. For stages go here. For a discussion of the different types of parotid cancer see histology types.

The most current treatment information is found on the NCCN treatment site here

Anatomy. See more detailed picture of the parotid and nodes, salivary gland nodes, parotid and facial  nerve , more anatomy#1 , anatomy#2anatomy#3anatomy#4, anatomy #5, anatomy #6, anatomy #7, anatomy #8, anatomy #9anatomy #10,

CT anatomy, CT anatomy, parotid tumor, here and here, see data on the incidence of spread to nodes.

parotid.gif (4723 bytes) Early stage low-grade salivary gland tumors are usually curable by adequate surgical resection alone. The prognosis is more favorable when the tumors are in the major salivary glands, particularly the parotid; less favorable when in the submandibular gland; and least favorable when in the sublingual or a minor salivary gland. Large bulky tumors or high-grade tumors carry a poorer prognosis and may best be treated by surgical resection combined with postoperative irradiation. Cancers that are metastatic to the parotid are usually treated with surgery and postOp irradiation (go here, and for the section on radiation and parotid cancer go here.

See survival related to histologic type. (


Best Web Sites for Parotid Gland Cancer: see the NCI physician site or the NCI patient site, NCCN dose , flow chart and postOp indications, CancerNet, ACS, E-Medicine here and here, also patients with squamous skin cancers that spread to the parotid nodes need postOp radiation (see NCCN.)