Saliva is produced by salivary glands to assist with chewing and digestion of meals. There are three pair of major salivary glands including parotid gland, submandibular gland, and sublingual gland. The lips, cheeks, mouth, and throat all contain numerous salivary glands. Any of these glands may develop a tumor, but are most commonly found in the parotid gland. The parotid glands develop abnormal cell growths known as parotid tumors. Although some tumors can develop into cancer, the majority of parotid tumors are noncancerous (benign). Treatment options of salivary gland tumors are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
The following are the signs and symptoms of parotid gland tumor:
- A lump at the affected area (jaw, neck, or mouth)
- Fullness or swelling in the face
- Facial numbness
- Burning or prickling sensations in the face
- Loss of facial movement or paralysis