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Symptoms

Find out about symptoms and when to see your GP.

The most common symptom is a lump or swelling on or near your jaw, or in your mouth or neck.

Remember this is a rare cancer and a lump in this area doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer.

Around 3 out of 4 tumours of the salivary gland (75%) are benign (non cancerous).

What to look for

Apart from lump or swelling in the jaw area or in the mouth or neck other symptoms include:

  • numbness in part of your face
  • drooping on one side of your face (facial palsy)
  • pain in the area
  • problems swallowing
  • difficulty opening your mouth fully
  • swelling on one side of your face
You should have a check up with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Remember all these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than cancer.

This is a rare disease and it is much more likely that some other problem is causing your symptoms.

If it is a cancer, the sooner it is diagnosed the better. And if it isn’t a cancer, there might well be treatment that will relieve or cure your symptoms.

Last reviewed: 
24 Jun 2014
  • Cancer and its management (6th edition)
    Tobias J et al
    London, Blackwell Science, 2010

  • Principles and practice of oncology (9th edition)
    De Vita, V.T., Hellman, S. and Rosenberg S.A.
    Lipponcott, Wiliams, Wilkins, 2011

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

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