Salivary Gland Cancer
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Salivary Gland Cancer - A type of head and neck cancer that begins in the salivary glands of the mouth. The salivary glands produce saliva, the lubricating fluid found in the mouth and throat. A rare disease, most salivary gland cancers occur in people aged 50 year or older. Salivary gland tumors are named, and given a numeric grade (1, 2, or 3), based on their appearance under a microscope. The two main types of salivary glands are the major salivary glands (including the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands) and the minor salivary glands. Malignant tumors tend to develop in the minor salivary glands. Although the exact causes of salivary gland cancer are not clear, common risk factors may include tobacco use, a family history of similar cancer, or radiation exposure to the head and neck.
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