Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: salivary | gland | cancer | radiation

What is Salivary Cancer?

Thursday, 24 May 2012 05:44 PM

Question: My brother recently was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer. I had never heard of this cancer before. Does it run in families?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Salivary gland cancer is a rare form of cancer that begins in the salivary glands present in your mouth, neck, or throat. There are three pairs of major salivary glands under and behind your jaw — parotid, sublingual, and submandibular. There are also many other tiny salivary glands are in your lips, inside your cheeks, and throughout your mouth and throat. Salivary gland cancer most commonly occurs in the parotid gland, which is just in front of the ear. The American Cancer Society reports that salivary gland cancers are not very common, accounting for less than 1 percent of cancers in the United States. They occur at a yearly rate of about 2 cases per 100,000 people per year in the United States.
They can occur at almost any age, but about 2 out of 3 salivary gland cancers are found in people who are 55 or older. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 64. Radiation treatment to the head and neck area for other medical reasons increases the risk of salivary gland cancer. Workplace exposure to certain radioactive substances may also increase the risk. Very rarely, members of some families seem to have a higher than usual risk of developing salivary gland cancers.

© HealthDay

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Salivary gland cancer is extremely rare.
Thursday, 24 May 2012 05:44 PM
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