Screening for salivary gland cancer | Cancer Research UK
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Screening for salivary gland cancer

Men and women discussing salivary gland cancer

This page tells you about screening for salivary gland cancer. Screening means testing for early stages of a disease before there are any symptoms.

Before doctors can screen for any type of cancer, they must have an accurate test to use. The test must be reliable in picking up cancers that are there. And it must not give false positive results in people who do not have cancer. At the moment, we don’t have a suitable test to use for salivary gland cancer screening.

There is no screening programme for salivary gland cancer in the UK at the moment because

  • We wouldn’t find very many cancers because it is so rare
  • The tests have risks that outweigh the benefits for most people
  • The cost of screening would be high

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.

If you think you may be at higher than average risk, talk to your doctor. If your doctor agrees that you are at a higher risk, they may be able to give you regular check ups.

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Updated: 24 June 2014