Salivary Gland Cancer:Are You at Risk?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 22, 2011

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Quick Bites

  • The exact cause of salivary gland cancer is unknown.
  • There are certain factors that may increase the risk.
  • Being exposed to certain substances ups the risk.
  • Treatment with radiation therapy increase the risk.

Salivary gland cancer is a rare form of cancer that begins in the salivary glands. It can occur in any of the salivary glands like mouth, neck or throat. The development of cancer interferes with the function of salivary glands which is to produce to aid digestion and keeps the mouth moist.


salivary gland cancer risks


The cancer can start anywhere in the three pairs of salivary glands – upper and behind the jaw- parotid, sublingual and submandibular. The cancer most commonly occurs in the parotid gland, located just in front of the ear.


What Increases your Risk of Salivary Gland Cancer?

Although the cause of most salivary gland cancer is not known, there are certain factors that raise your risk of salivary gland cancer. The following increase your risk of developing cancer of the salivary gland .

  • Being exposed to certain substances at work can raise your risk of salivary gland cancer. Those involved in rubber manufacturing, asbestos mining and plumbing have a higher risk of salivary gland cancer.
  • Being exposed to certain types of radiation may increase the risk of salivary cancer. Treatment with radiation therapy to the head and neck.
  • Older age



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