Parotid Gland Tumor: Everything You May Need To Know

parotid gland tumor
Parotid Gland Tumor

The largest salivary gland, the parotid gland, is where parotid gland tumours originate. The parotid gland is where most salivary gland cancers start, even though many of these tumours are benign.

Salivary gland cancer affects 2,000–2,500 people in the US annually. Approximately 6%–8% of head and neck cancer cases are classified as this. The parotid gland is where these cases of salivary gland cancer most frequently start.

The largest salivary glands are called parotid glands. A tumour in these glands might cause numbness or pain in your face, as well as a lump that doesn't go away in your mouth, cheek, or jaw. To treat these tumours, a physician might advise radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery.

This article will concentrate on parotid gland tumours, the proportion of benign versus malignant tumours, and potential therapies.

What is a parotid gland tumor?

Abnormal cell growths that form in the parotid glands are known as parotid gland tumours.

The largest salivary glands are called parotid glands, and they are situated just in front of your ears. They are the most typical sites where salivary gland cancer starts.

While parotid gland tumours can afflict anyone at any age, older adults are more likely to experience them. The typical diagnosis age for carcinoma of the salivary gland is 55 years old.


A parotid gland tumour may cause the following symptoms:
  • a growth or bulge in your jaw, mouth, or cheek
  • difficulty sucking or expanding your mouth wide
  • liquid dripping from your ear
  • face loss of mobility or numbness
  • scorching or prickly sensations in your face

How many types of parotid gland tumors are there?

Because the parotid gland contains a wide variety of cell types, there are numerous kinds of parotid gland tumours. Among them are:
  • duct cells
  • gland cells
  • connective tissue cells
The following are a few instances of parotid gland cancers:
  • mucoepidermoid carcinoma
  • primary squamous cell carcinoma
  • acinic cell carcinoma
  • carcinoma ex-pleomorphic adenoma
  • salivary duct carcinoma

Are parotid gland tumors benign or malignant?

Benign or malignant parotid gland tumours are both possible. Malignant parotid tumours make up about 20% of cases. For youngsters, this number is considerably greater.

Even though the bulk of these tumours are benign, it's still critical to recognise the signs and seek treatment as soon as possible.


Many salivary gland tumours have an enigmatic aetiology. Numerous genetic, environmental, and lifestyle variables might be involved.

If you have had radiation therapy on your head and neck or have been exposed to specific types of radiation at work, your chances of developing a parotid gland tumour may increase. While benign tumours do not have a relationship with radiation, malignancy does.

Additionally, being older increases your risk of developing a parotid gland tumour.

How do you treat a parotid gland tumor?

Options for parotid gland tumour treatment include:
  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • immunotherapy
  • radiation
  • targeted drug therapy
When deciding which treatment, or combination of treatments, is appropriate for you, your doctor will take into account several criteria. Among them are:
  • the location and size of your tumor(s)
  • whether the cancer has progressed to other body parts
  • your age and overall health
  • your body's reaction to different therapies
Whether a parotid gland tumour is found to be benign or malignant may determine how it is treated. If the tumour is benign, your doctor could advise surveillance; if the tumour is malignant, more specialised care, such as surgery, would be required.


Most tumours of the salivary glands are benign and do not metastasize to other parts of the body.

Individuals sixty years of age or older are at an increased risk of developing malignant tumours in the parotid gland.

Malignant salivary gland tumours have a about 70% 5-year survival rate. However, the five-year survival rate for salivary gland cancer is 91% when it is detected at stage 1. The 5-year survival rate ranges from 39% to 65% when the cancer is discovered in stages 3 or 4.

It's critical to keep in mind that each person will have a distinct experience.


The largest salivary gland is the parotid gland. It's where salivary gland cancer most frequently appears. Tumours in the parotid gland can cause discomfort or numbness in your face, as well as lumps in your mouth, jaw, or cheek.

If you think you may have a parotid or salivary gland tumour, it's critical to consult a physician. Better health results may come from early treatment with radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery if diagnostic tests establish the presence of a tumour.

Most parotid gland tumours are not malignant; rather, they are benign. A doctor's recommended course of therapy may vary depending on whether a tumour is malignant or benign.


How common are parotid gland tumors?

Malignant salivary gland tumours account for only 6% of head and neck cancer cases, which is quite low. A benign, slowly-growing tumour in the parotid gland accounts for about 80% of all salivary gland tumours, making it the most prevalent form. Rarely do small salivary gland tumours occur.

Can you get cancer in your parotid gland?

Parotid gland cancer can originate in the gland itself or it can metastasis, or spread, to the gland from another area, such as the skin.

Are parotid tumors cancerous?

Pleomorphic adenoma is the most significant of the benign parotid gland tumours. However, lesions in the minor salivary glands and submandibular glands have a higher chance of being cancerous. Salivary gland tumour mortality is stage-dependent. The typical five-year survival rate is almost 70%.

Can parotid tumors come back?

Parotid tumours can return as a single, isolated mass or as a sizable cluster of unrelated tumours.

Are parotid tumors common?

Although salivary gland cancer is extremely uncommon, studies indicate that a pleomorphic adenoma in the parotid gland has a greater likelihood of developing into cancer the longer it is left untreated.

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