Salivary Gland Tumors
Salivary glands make and release saliva that lubricates your mouth and throat, starts the digestion of your food, and coats the lining of the upper airway to help protect you from infections. Salivary gland tumors, either benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer), can arise in any of these glands. There are three types of glands: parotid glands; submandibular glands; and sublingual glands. There are also thousands of minor salivary glands that produce a lubricating musus and which are clustered throughout the upper aero digestive tract.
Physicians characterize malignant salivary gland tumors by site of origin, histology, invasiveness, nodal spread, and grade. The grade of a tumor is based on how normal the cancer cells look and how quickly they grow or spread. (Grades 1, 2, and 3)
Types of Salivary Gland Tumors We Treat
- Mucoepidermoid carcinoma
- Adenoid cystic carcinoma
- Acidic cell carcinoma
- Malignant mixed tumor
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Depending on your diagnosis, stage and particular situation, salivary gland cancers can be treated with radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy, either alone or in combination with each other.
The physicians at the University of Washington Department of Radiation Oncology work very closely with your surgeon and medical oncologist to determine which combination of treatment is best for you. Because of our team’s deep collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, you can be assured that your treatment plan will be highly individualized and based on latest the advances in cancer research.
Please contact us if you are interested in a consultation to discuss the options that best fit you.