There are many different forms of salivary gland cancer. There is no one particular cause of this condition but occurs as a result of mutations in gland development. It is a rare type of cancer that happens in the neck throat or mouth. Here is a closer look at symptoms and treatments of this kind of cancer.
Cancer Symptoms In The Salivary Glands
- Numbness Of The Face
- Pain In The Salivary Gland Area
- Swallowing difficulties
- Lumps In The Jaw Or Mouth
It is essential to seek medical assistance when any of these symptoms are present.
Possible Causes Of This Type Of Cancer
- Exposure To Radiation: When a person has already had radiation therapy to treat other cancers in the neck it can lead to this kind of cancer.
- Chemical Exposure: Certain jobs work around chemicals which may cause an increased likelihood of developing this cancer.
- Old Age: This cancer most often occurs in people of an older age.
Diagnosis Of This Cancer
When a person visits a doctor with symptoms of cancer in the salivary glands a physical examination will be performed concentrating on the neck throat and jaw. Image testing will be done to determine the size and area of the cancer. When cancer has been diagnosed a biopsy will be performed. Depending on the stage of this cancer treatment will vary.
Surgical Treatments For This Cancer
- Removing Only The Affected Area: When cancer is small and detected early a surgeon may only need to remove a small part of the gland.
- Removing The Entire Gland: When there is a large tumor a surgeon may need to take out the entire gland.
- Removing Lymph Nodes: When there is proof that the cancer has continued to other parts of the neck it will be necessary to remove the lymph nodes along with the salivary glands.
- Reconstruction: If the cancer is extensive and multiple parts of the jaw area have been removed it may be necessary to reconstruct the area. A qualified plastic surgeon has the ability to repair the area to a usable state.
Other Medical Treatments For Cancer Of This Nature
- Chemotherapy: Chemo treatments include drugs that attack and kill cells that cause cancer. It is most often used on patients who have advanced cancer that spread to other parts.
- Radiation: This treatment utilizes beams of energy to attack cancer. It is most used following surgery to kill remaining problem cells and when surgery is not an option.
Getting Past Side Effects Of Cancer Treatment
Many times a person will experience negative side effects for treatment of this cancer. Here are side effects and ways to get past them.
- Dry Mouth: After radiation therapy a person may feel dry in the mouth. This may be alleviated by brushing the teeth frequently and rinsing the mouth in between meals. Sugarless candy tends to stimulate saliva production as well. It is also best to stay away from dry foods or those which contain acid or spice.
- Fatigue: Certain cancer treatment can cause a person to feel very tired. Exercise is a good way to gain energy and feel more lively. Many people choose massage as a means to relax and ease tiredness.
It is always best to catch the early signs of cancer in the body. There are many types of cancer. When a person has lumps or other problems in the throat or jaw area it is best to seek medical attention. Diagnosing salivary gland cancer early will make treatment much easier without the need for unnecessary complications or further problems.