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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Diagnosed with parotid tumor and having severe pain. Any thoughts?

Answered by
Dr. Sudhir Kumar


Practicing since :1994

Answered : 5804 Questions

Posted on Mon, 10 Dec 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: I have a simple question. Does pain with a parotid tumor almost always equal malignancy? I was just diagnosed with a parotid tumor this week and it's incredibly painful (tender when pressed on, shooting pain around mass, but no facial paralysis or ear problems). I can't seem to find too many examples of painful benign masses. Thoughts?
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 3 hours later

Thank you for posting your query.

First of all, I wish to reassure you that pain in a parotid tumour does not mean it is malignant. A benign tumour can also be painful.

The features favouring malignancy in a parotid tumour could be increase in the hardness of the tumour or a very rapid growth of the tumour.

So, there is no need to worry at present.

Please get back if you have any more queries.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Sudhir Kumar 19 hours later

Thank you. I am still quite concerned about the pain since it wasn't there just 1 year ago but I am seeing a specialist in Chicago this week so I'll get that ball rolling.

I did have one follow-up question. When they did the ultrasound (they couldn't do a CT or MRI, I'm pregnant), the technician referred to blood flow within the tumor. She said there was definitely some, but she wouldn't quantify how much. I know there is a correlation between blood flow, blood volume, and malignancy, but is it possible for a benign tumor to have blood flow as well? I think this is where my main concern lies at the moment.....I saw her face, and she seemed quite concerned. But the radiologist who reviewed the ultrasound didn't seem concerned, so it was quite a mixed message.

Any info you have on this subject would be great!

Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 3 hours later

Thank you for getting back with more details.

I can understand your concern, especially when the final diagnosis has not been reached.

Regarding vascularity, a malignant tumor is highly vascular; however a benign tumor is less vascular. However, this is not a definite sign.

There are other signs suggestive of malignancy, such as irregularity of tumor, infiltration of surrounding tissues, involvement of facial nerve, etc.

For confirmation, a biopsy of the parotid tumor would be required.

So, based on the information we have till now, there is no need to worry.

I hope it clarifies. Please get back if you have any more queries.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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