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Salivary gland

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Treatments for recurrent salivary gland cancer

There are no standard treatment options for recurrent salivary gland cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan. Treatment will depend on where the cancer has come back, what treatments you have already received and your overall health.

Radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy may be offered for recurrent salivary gland cancer. It can’t be used if you were already given radiation therapy in the area where the cancer recurs.

Radiation therapy may be used if salivary gland cancer has spread to the bone or lungs. Find out more about treatments for bone metastases and lung metastases.


Surgery may be offered if recurrent salivary gland cancer can be safely removed. The type of surgery done will depend on where the tumour has recurred.


In rare cases, doctors may offer chemotherapy for recurrent salivary gland cancer. It is only offered to people who are healthy enough to have chemotherapy and if no other treatments can be done. There are no standard chemotherapy drugs for recurrent salivary gland cancer.

Clinical trials

You may be asked if you want to join a clinical trial for salivary gland cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.


Researcher Dr Raymond Andersen Dr Raymond Andersen’s research could lead to a promising new drug for prostate cancer.

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Volunteers provide comfort and kindness

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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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