Salivary gland tumors

Alternative Names

Tumor – salivary duct

Definition of Salivary gland tumors

Salivary gland tumors are abnormal cells growing in the ducts that drain the salivary glands.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The salivary glands are located around the mouth. They produce saliva, which moistens food to help with chewing and swallowing.

Signs and tests

An examination by a health care provider or dentist shows a larger-than-normal salivary gland, usually one of the parotid glands.

Treatment

The recommended treatment is usually surgery to remove the affected salivary gland. If the tumor is benign, no other treatment is usually needed.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most salivary gland tumors are noncancerous and slow growing. Removing the tumor with surgery usually cures the condition. In rare cases, the tumor is cancerous and further treatment is needed.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/1/2010

Head and neck glands

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.