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Salivary gland cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that – as its name suggests – develops in the glands that produce saliva. It can develop in the parotid glands, which are located in front of and just below the ears; the sublingual glands, which are located beneath the tongue; or the submandibular glands, which are located just below the jawbone. It can also develop in minor glands that are located throughout the mouth, nose and voice box.

How is salivary gland cancer treated?

Oncologists consider the type of salivary gland cancer and other individual factors when determining the most appropriate form of treatment. This is because some cancers, such as adenoid cystic carcinomas, tend to grow very slowly, while others, such as anaplastic small cell carcinomas, are more likely to spread. Meanwhile, certain cancers respond more favorably to specific chemotherapy medications, which can influence the direction of a patient’s treatment.

Moffitt Cancer Center’s Head and Neck Cancer Program offers patients a comprehensive array of salivary gland cancer treatment options, including:

  • Laser surgery
  • Robotic surgery
  • Biological therapies
  • Single-agent and combination chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

We also offer the latest advances in treatment through our clinical trials program. As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are able to help our patients access options that aren’t yet available in other settings.

Supportive care during salivary gland cancer treatment

At Moffitt, we strive to not only achieve the best possible outcomes, but also to help each patient maintain a high quality of life throughout treatment. We have a caring team of supportive care providers, including dietitians who can help patients find adequate sources of nutrition while recovering from oral surgery, as part of our collaborative team.

To request an appointment, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. Patients can consult with the specialized oncologists in our Head and Neck Cancer Program with or without a referral.