Salivary gland cancer is a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the salivary glands.
The salivary glands make saliva and release it into the mouth. Saliva has enzymes that help digest food and antibodies that help protect against infections of the mouth and throat. There are 3 pairs of major salivary glands:
These are the largest salivary glands and are found in front of and just below each ear. Most major salivary gland tumors begin in this gland.
These glands are found under the tongue in the floor of the mouth.
These glands are found below the jawbone.
There are also hundreds of small (minor) salivary glands lining parts of the mouth, nose, and larynx that can be seen only with a microscope. Most small salivary gland tumors begin in the palate (roof of the mouth).
More than half of all salivary gland tumors are benign (not cancerous) and do not spread to other tissues.
The malfunctioning of the salivary gland can lead to this disorder in the human body, saliva helps in lubricating the mouth, swallowing of food, protecting the teeth against bacterial infection and help in the overall digestion of food.read more
The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment.read more