What is salivary gland cancer?

Salivary gland cancer is a rare type of head and neck cancer. It starts in one of the salivary glands inside or near your mouth. 

Symptoms of salivary gland cancer

The most common symptom of salivary gland cancer is a swelling on the side of the face, just in front of the ear or under the jawbone.

Getting diagnosed

You usually start by seeing your GP and they might refer you to a specialist and organise tests. 

Types of salivary gland cancer

The type of salivary gland cancer means the type of cell the cancer started in. Mucoepidermoid carcinomas are the most common type of salivary gland cancer. 


The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and whether it has spread.

Risks and causes

Find out about the risks and causes of salivary gland cancer.

Survival for salivary gland cancer

Survival for salivary gland cancer depends on several factors. These include the type and stage of your cancer. 


Treatment for salivary gland cancer depends on where the cancer is, the size, whether it has spread anywhere else and your health. 

Research and clinical trials

Find out about the latest UK research looking at salivary gland cancer as well as information about clinical trials.

Living with salivary gland cancer

Find out about how to cope with salivary gland cancer, its treatments and where to get help and support.

Last reviewed: 
15 Oct 2019
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