Benign Parotid Tumor

Benign Parotid Tumor

Parotid benign tumors are tumors that arise in the parotid salivary glands and are not malignant . Parotid benign tumors can cause symptoms in the form of a lump on the cheek or lower jaw , but it doesn't hurt.

The parotid glands are the largest salivary glands which are located on the sides of the face. Together with other salivary glands, the parotid glands function to produce saliva to help digest food.

Benign parotid tumors are more common than malignant parotid tumors and occur more frequently in adults than children.

Causes and Types of Benign Parotid Tumors

Parotid tumors are caused by mutations or changes in genes in parotid gland cells. This mutation causes parotid gland cells to divide rapidly and continuously.

The cause of this gene mutation is not known with certainty. However, there are a number of factors that can increase a person's risk of developing parotid tumors, namely:

  • Age
    Although parotid gland tumors can occur in anyone, this condition is more common in the elderly.
  • Radiation exposure
    Radiation, especially from radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer in the head or neck can increase the risk of parotid gland tumors.
  • Exposure to chemical compounds
    Some people who work in asbestos mining, pipe factories, or rubber factories have a higher risk of developing salivary gland tumors. In addition, exposure to chemicals from cigarettes can also increase the risk of tumors.
  • Viral infections
    Examples of viruses associated with the appearance of tumors in the salivary glands are HIV and the Epstein-Barr virus .
  • Smoking
    habits Smoking habits increase a person's risk of developing Warthin's tumor, which is a type of parotid benign tumor.
  • Use of cell phones
    Several studies have shown a relationship between continuous use of cell phones and the appearance of parotid gland tumors.
  • Obesity
    Research shows that obesity and metabolic syndrome can cause disturbances in the function of the salivary glands , including the parotid glands. In addition, obese people are also more susceptible to oxidative stress. This condition increases the risk of tumors.

Although in general the symptoms are the same, parotid benign tumors can be divided into several types, namely:

  • Pleomorphic adenoma
    This type of parotid tumor is the most common tumor. Parotid tumors grow slowly and usually don't cause symptoms, especially when they are small.
  • Warthin's
    tumor This type of parotid tumor is less common than pleomorphic adenomas. Warthin's tumor usually occurs in women over 60 years of age and men over 70 years of age.
  • Oncocytoma and monomorphic tumors
    Among the three types of parotid tumors, parotid oncocytoma tumors and monomorphic tumors are the rarest types of tumors.

Symptoms of Benign Parotid Tumor

The main symptom of a parotid benign tumor is the appearance of a single lump on the cheek or lower jaw with a firm shape and no pain. These lumps are usually noticed by the sufferer while washing his face or shaving.

Apart from a lump, other symptoms that can appear are:

  • Numbness around the lump
  • One side of the facial muscles becomes weak
  • Difficulty swallowing food
  • Difficulty opening the mouth wide

Some patients with parotid benign tumors can also feel pain in the tumor area, such as burning or stabbing.

When to see a doctor

Consult a doctor if you notice any of the above symptoms, especially a lump. Symptoms of benign parotid tumors are often indistinguishable from malignant parotid tumors. Therefore, it is best to do an examination as early as possible so that the cause of the lump can be identified and treated immediately.

Diagnosis of benign parotid tumors

To diagnose parotid benign tumors, the doctor will ask about the patient's symptoms, then carry out a physical examination. Physical examination can be done by feeling the swelling or lump in the neck.

After undergoing a physical examination, the patient will undergo additional examinations consisting of:

  • Biopsy
    Biopsy is done by taking a sample of salivary gland tissue for analysis in the laboratory. Through a biopsy, doctors can find out whether a patient has a benign or malignant tumor, as well as the type of tumor.
  • Scanning A
    scan is done to confirm the parotid tumor while looking at its size. Scanning can be done with X-rays, ultrasound, CT scans , MRI, or PET scans .

Treatment of Benign Parotid Tumors

Treatment of parotid tumors aims to remove as much tumor tissue as possible and prevent the tumor from recurring after being removed.

The most important parotid benign tumor treatment method is parotidectomy surgery. Parotidectomy surgery aims to remove the parotid gland tissue and the tumor. Depending on the size of the tumor, parotidectomy can remove part or all of the parotid gland.

One of the side effects of parotidectomy is the risk of facial nerve damage due to surgery. However, when a parotidectomy is performed, the doctor will maintain the integrity of the facial nerve tissue near the parotid gland as much as possible, to reduce the risk of side effects.

Parotid Benign Tumor Complications

Some of the complications that can occur due to parotid tumors are:

  • Facial nerve
    damage Facial nerve damage can occur due to compression of the nerve by a tumor or injury during parotidectomy surgery. The risk of nerve damage will increase if surgery is performed routinely
  • Recurrence of tumors
    Treatments that have been undertaken by patients generally cannot completely remove tumor tissue. The remaining tumor tissue can recur and develop, either as a benign tumor or
  • Frey's syndrome
    Redness, burning and sweating of the cheeks, temples or behind the ears when eating foods that stimulate saliva production, such as acidic foods. This syndrome is thought to occur due to nerve damage during parotid tumor surgery.
  • Decreased hearing ability
    This complication can appear if there is damage to the ear nerve due to surgery or compression by a tumor.

Prevention of Benign Parotid Tumors

The cause of parotid benign tumors is not yet known with certainty. Therefore, steps to prevent parotid benign tumors are carried out by minimizing the risk factors. Things that can be done are:

  • Lose weight in a healthy way to achieve ideal body weight , or maintain ideal body weight
  • Check with your doctor regularly if you are often exposed to radiation or have had radiotherapy, especially in the neck area
  • Stop smoking if you are an active smoker and try to always avoid cigarette smoke for passive smokers
  • Conducting consultations, as well as undergoing medication and lifestyle changes for sufferers of metabolic syndrome
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