Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) >
Salivary Gland Tumours

“Growths of abnormal cells that originate within the salivary glands (mostly benign)”

Risk Factors
  • Older age
  • Exposure to radiation or occupational hazards (e.g. asbestos, plumbing, rubber manufacturing)
  • EBV infection
  • Tobacco smoking (especially linked to Warthin’s tumour)
Aetiology
  • Usually arises due to a combination of risk factors
Pathophysiology
  • The abnormal, uncontrollable proliferation of salivary gland cells caused by a mutation in their DNA
Clinical Presentation
  • Mass/swelling near the jaw, mouth or neck
  • +/- numbness
  • Weakness
  • Pain
  • Dysphagia
  • Facial nerve palsy
  • Hoarseness
  • Nasal obstruction
Investigations
  • Bloods (FBC, U&Es, CRP) to check for an infectious cause
  • Imaging (e.g. MRI, PET/ CT)
  • Fine needle aspiration/core needle biopsy
Management
  • Surgical resection +/- chemotherapy or radiotherapy (if malignant)
Complications
  • Complications of untreated tumour:
    • Facial nerve palsy
    • Dysphagia
    • Metastasis (if cancer)
  • Complications of resection
    • Haematoma
    • Facial nerve injury
    • Frey’s syndrome

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