about 1 out of every 5 tumours found in the
parotid gland are cancerous. A small number are
found in the submandibular gland and even less in the
other glands. Benign tumours usually grow slowly
over months or years and are usually hard and painless.
Cancerous tumours tend to grow more quickly and cause
pain and tenderness.
a parotid gland tumour usually means having an operation
called a parotidectomy. Because an important nerve
runs through this gland, surgery can be tricky.
This is the facial nerve, which controls the movement of
muscles in your face, including your eyes and mouth.
Damage to this nerve can cause drooping of the eyebrow
or corner of the mouth, lips that cannot be held
together tightly or an eye that doesn't close properly.
Your surgeon will take every care to make sure this
doesn’t happen, but it may be unavoidable. You
may want to ask your surgeon about this if you are
With faster growing, more aggressive tumours you may
need a combination of surgery and radiotherapy.