Salivary gland cancer

Salivary gland tumors can develop in many different types of glands and aren’t always malignant. See the list below for an overview of the types of glands that can develop a tumor, and the chances of it being malignant:

  • Parotid gland: 20% malignant
  • Submandibular gland: 50% malignant
  • Sublingual gland: 70% malignant
  • Small salivary glands in the mouth, nose, and throat cavities: 80% malignant

Find out more about the causes and symptoms, and the most commonly used diagnostic tests and treatment types for salivary gland tumors on this page.

Causes and symptoms

Salivary gland cancer most commonly occurs in men and women past the age of 40. It is currently unknown which factors play a role in its development. Skin cancer can also spread to the salivary glands. Common symptoms of salivary gland cancer are pain, inability to move facial muscles, or swellings in the cheeks, in front of, or under the ear, or under the jaw. Malignant tumors are more likely to cause pain and the inability to move the facial muscles.  



The following diagnostic tests may be done to confirm or rule out salivary gland tumors:

Treatment options

Your exact treatment options will depend on the tumor type and stage. Your overall health and shape will also affect your options. We will inform you about the process beforehand, and you will have plenty of time to ask questions. Your treatment will most likely consist of one or more of the following treatments:

This website uses cookies

We use cookies on our website to improve the user experience.