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Salivary gland

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If salivary gland cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the salivary gland to other parts of the body and develop into a new tumour. The new tumour is called a metastasis or secondary tumour. If more than one tumour develops in another part of the body, they are called metastases.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If salivary gland cancer spreads, it is most likely to spread to the following:

  • lymph nodes in the neck (the most common place where salivary gland cancer spreads)
  • into and along the nerves in the face and neck (perineural invasion)
  • soft tissues in the face and neck, including nerves and blood vessels
  • lungs
  • brain
  • bones


Lusomé Founder and CEO Lara Smith Seeing my sister Erin – a young mother – struggle with the emotional blow and then the physical toll of cancer treatment made me want to do something to help women feel confident.

Read Lara's story

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Thousands of Canadian Cancer Society volunteers work in regional cancer centres, lodges and community hospitals to support people receiving treatment.

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