Find out what you can do, who can help and about how to cope with a diagnosis of salivary gland cancer.
Coping with a diagnosis
It can be very difficult to cope with a diagnosis of cancer, both practically and emotionally. At first, you are likely to feel very upset, frightened and confused. Or that things are out of your control.
It is very important to get the right information about the type of cancer you have and how it is best treated.
People who are well informed about their illness and treatment are more able to make decisions and cope with what happens.
How cancer can affect you physically
You may also have to come to terms with physical changes caused by your cancer and its treatment. This may include a change in your appearance.
These changes vary depending on which salivary gland is affected and the treatment you have.
You may also have changes to how you eat and drink. This is usually temporary but can be difficult to cope with at the time.
If you have surgery to remove a cancer in your parotid gland you may have some numbness around your ear.
This is usually temporary, but for a few people it can be permanent. It is caused by damage to the nerves in the area.
Practical things you and your family might need to cope with include:
- money matters
- financial support, such as benefits, sick pay and grants
- work issues
Talk to your doctor or specialist nurse to find out who can help. Getting early help with these things can mean that they don’t become a big issue later.