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Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

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Conditions We Treat: Salivary Gland Tumors

Salivary gland tumors may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Tumors can grow in the parotid glands on the side of the face, in the submandibular glands under the jaw, or in the sublingual glands under the tongue. 

Salivary gland cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells are found in one of these three types of salivary glands. Often, the only symptom of a salivary gland tumor is a lump or mass that may be painless.   

Parotid Salivary Gland Tumor: Jubenal's Story

After discovering a lump in his neck that was diagnosed as a malignant parotid gland tumor, Jubenal, a Connecticut-based firefighter and paramedic, traveled to Baltimore to seek help from head and neck surgeon David Eisele.

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Salivary Gland Tumors: Why Choose Johns Hopkins?

David Eisele examining a patient
  • You can trust Johns Hopkins experts' unsurpassed expertise in treating salivary gland tumors, both malignant and benign. 

  • Our head and neck surgeons are experts in innovative techniques to protect the cranial nerves of the face, which means less risk of facial paralysis and vision problems.

  • The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery works with the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in a multidisciplinary approach to ensure the highest quality patient care informed by research.

  • Our surgeons are experts in transoral robotic surgery and other minimally invasive procedures, which helps them address tumors while protecting healthy tissue. 

Salivary Gland Tumors: Treatments

The first step in addressing a salivary gland tumor is diagnosis. A biopsy can help the doctor understand more about the cells in the tumor and how likely they are to multiply and spread. The biopsies used to learn more about tumors in the salivary glands are fine needle aspiration biopsy and incisional biopsy. Your doctor will choose the biopsy type that is better for you. 

If the biopsy confirms salivary gland cancer, your doctor is likely to recommend surgery as the first line of treatment. Some salivary gland cancer patients are candidates for transoral robotic surgeryIf the salivary gland cancer is considered high grade, based on the shape of the cells and the number of places where the cancerous cells are actively dividing, your doctor may prescribe radiation therapy following surgery. 

Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Cancer Surgery Center

Learn more about the Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Cancer Surgery Center, its expert team -- including head and neck cancer surgeons, skull base surgeons, speech-language pathologists, radiation and medical oncologists -- personalized patient care, research and teaching the next generation of specialists. Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Cancer Center is part of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.