Salivary glands

Glándulas salivaresGlándulas salivares

The parotid gland is one of the main salivary glands that produce saliva. These glands are located in front of the ears and extend to the area below the earlobe along the submandibular area. Of all the salivary glands, tumors are most commonly found in the parotid gland. However, parotid gland tumors are rare and only about 20 percent are malignant.

Surgical treatment is usually the best option for a parotid tumor. Although most tumors are slow-growing and benign, they will continue to grow and surgical treatment later may be more difficult.

If a mass is slow-growing and causes no symptoms, and if you have significant health problems that would preclude a safe surgical procedure, the doctor may choose to do nothing and perform a wait-and-see attitude. Since we can not forget that the facial nerve, an important nerve for the expressiveness and functioning of the face passes through the gland, and therefore surgery on this gland is potentially serious and very delicate.

Surgical treatment of parotid tumor usually requires parotidectomy, removing part or all of the gland.

Tumor exeresis or a "lumpectomy" is not recommended, as microscopic tumor cells can spread into the wound and tumor recurrence. A lumpectomy also increases the risk of damaging the facial nerve.