Facial Nerve Palsy - supporting people living with facial paralysis


Parotid Tumor (Tumour) Salivary Gland Cancer

Salivary gland cancer is rare, it can occur at any age, but is more common in people over 50.  The most common symptom of salivary gland cancer is a swelling on the side of the face which is either just in front of the ears or under the jawbone. This can be accompanied by some numbness and drooping on one side of the face, i.e. facial palsy.

The three main salivary glands are as follows: -

  • Sublingual glands (underneath the tongue)
  • Parotid glands (just in front of the ears at the sides of the mouth)
  • Submandibular glands (under the jawbone)

The main and minor salivary glands are responsible for keeping the mouth moist (by producing saliva) and helping food to slide down the gullet into the stomach. 

Most salivary gland tumours are benign and by far the most common site is the parotid gland.  Due to the close proximity to the facial nerve, tumors in this area and any associated surgery can result in complications affecting the facial nerve function.

Personal Stories

Ken & Helena's Cancer Story

One person's history of Parotid Gland Tumors

Useful Links

Salivary gland neoplasm - Wikipedia

Salivary Gland Cancer - Macmillan Cancer Support

Parotidectomy (Parotid gland removal)

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma - Wikipedia