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Screening

Find out what screening means, and why there is no screening programme for salivary gland cancer. 

What screening is

Screening means testing people for early stages of an illness before they have any symptoms. For screening to be useful the tests:

  • must be reliable at picking up the illness
  • must be simple and quick
  • overall must do more good than harm to people taking part

No screening available

There is no national screening programme because:

  • this condition is very rare, so many people would have unnecessary tests
  • the benefits don't outweigh the costs

With uncommon diseases, it is most cost effective to screen people who are thought to be at a higher risk. But first we must be sure that we know who is at higher risk.

Talk to your doctor if you think you are at high risk of salivary grand cancer.
Last reviewed: 
24 Jun 2014
  • Improving outcomes in head and neck cancers
    The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), November 2004

  • Improving outcomes in head and neck cancers: Evidence Update 
    The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), May 2011

  • Referral for suspected cancer. A clinical practice guideline
    The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), June 2005

  • Diagnosis and Management of Head and Neck Cancer (No 90)
    Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), October 2006

  • Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Management Guidelines 
    ENT UK, 4th Edition, September 2011

  • The Textbook of Uncommon Cancers (4th edition)
    Raghavan et al
    Wiley 2012

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