What are the symptoms of salivary gland cancer?

Posted on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: I am being treated with immune suppressants for swollen submandibular glands. My right gland returned to normal. My left gland went down but never returned to normal it is hard and painless. I am noticing that my parotid glands are starting to swell on the left side. I'm also experiencing diarreah, nausea, hair loss, ear itching and pressure sores from my hearing aids, fatigue and flu like pain in my body. I suspect that I may have some type of salivary gland cancer. Is taking immune suppressants hurting more than it is helping?
Answered by Dr. Meher Lakshmi Konatam 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
cancer unlikely

Detailed Answer:
It is very unlikely for salivary gland cancer to cause all these symptoms. You might have had some infection due to immunosuppressive drugs and hence all these symptoms.
Salivary gland tumors present as increase in size of gland with firm to hard consistency. Usually one region shows swelling, not the diffuse swelling as in other disorders. If the clinical condition warrants the doctor would ask for further tests including biopsy. That would give you an answer.

However based on your description, these systemic symptoms like itching, flu like illness etc are unusual in salivary gland tumors. Localized symptoms are common.

Hope this answers your question.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Answered by
Dr. Meher Lakshmi Konatam


Practicing since :2001

Answered : 292 Questions


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