Saliva secreted from the salivary glands; It moisturizes the inside of the mouth and makes it possible to swallow, speak and taste. An adult human produces about 0,6 to 1,5 liters of saliva per day. Tumors can occur in the salivary glands, which have a very important function in the body. Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of salivary gland tumors whose exact causes are unknown. Associate Professor from Memorial Şişli Hospital, Department of Ear Nose and Throat Diseases. Dr. Ela Araz Server gave information about salivary gland tumors and their treatment.
in the body; There are three types of large salivary glands, two in front of the ear (parotid gland), two under the chin (submandibular gland) and two under the tongue (sublingual), and many small salivary glands located in the mouth, respiratory and digestive systems. The glands under the chin are the submandibular salivary glands and are the glands that secrete the most saliva. The glands in front of the ear are called the parotid glands and secrete saliva with stimuli such as eating. Benign (benign) or malignant (malignant) tumors can occur in salivary gland cells. Benign tumors are often seen in the salivary glands. While benign salivary gland tumors do not spread to other tissues, malignant tumors have the potential to spread. Early diagnosis increases the success of treatment in malignant salivary gland cancers.
Smoking is one of the triggering factors
Salivary gland cancer is more common in men. It is not known exactly why salivary gland tumors occur. An underlying cause has not been demonstrated in benign tumors, but in malignant salivary gland tumors; genetic predisposition, smoking, radiation exposure, working in asbestos-used jobs, rubber and timber work, and various plumbing works can be effective.
The first symptom is swelling in front of the ear or under the chin.
Salivary gland tumor shows symptoms according to the gland from which it originates. The most common symptom is swelling. In the area where the affected gland is located, for example, in front of the ear, under the chin, under the tongue, and in the mouth, swellings (lumps) can be seen. These swellings are mostly painless and firm. If the tumor grows too large and begins to press, pain, difficulty in swallowing, difficulty in opening the mouth, numbness in the half of the face, facial slippage can be seen as a result of facial nerve paralysis.
The only treatment method is surgery
There is no drug treatment for salivary gland tumors, the only treatment method is surgery. The size of the surgery and the additional treatments that may be required after it vary according to the size, type and location of the tumor. If the tumor is benign and small, it is usually sufficient to remove only the mass, while in malignant tumors and large tumors, the entire affected salivary gland must be removed. If the tumor is malignant, chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be required after surgery.
Pay attention to these after surgery
The approach of salivary gland surgeries varies according to which gland is involved. Surgery is performed according to the area where it is located, such as in front of the ear and under the chin. It is normal to feel mild pain in the wound area, numbness, numbness and tingling in the ear and face area after the surgery. After the surgery, sometimes there may be pain caused by jaw movements. The patient should not tire his jaw too much, avoid hard foods for a week, and should not consume foods such as lemon, citrus, pickles that increase secretion in order not to trigger salivation. The wound site should not be wetted for a week and should remain clean. If there is swelling, pain, redness or discharge in this area, a doctor should be consulted without delay. Some anti-scar creams can be used to reduce the scar in the wound area. Again, since this area will be sensitive to the sun, it should be protected from the sun and sunscreen creams should be used.