Jefferson University Hospitals

Salivary Gland Tumors

Abnormal cells that form in the ducts that drain the salivary glands (which produce saliva to aid in chewing and swallowing) are known as salivary gland tumors. Symptoms include swelling in one of the salivary glands and difficulty moving one side of your face.

The board-certified otolaryngologists at Jefferson may order several tests to reach a diagnosis, including:

  • X-rays — to see if a tumor is present in the salivary glands
  • CT scan — to see if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
  • Fine-needle aspiration biopsy — to determine what types of cells are present in the salivary glands

Surgery is usually recommended to remove the affected salivary gland. Most salivary gland tumors are benign. If the tumor is cancerous, however, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be required.