Treatments for stage IV salivary gland cancer
The following are treatment options for stage IV salivary gland cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan. Treatments are used to relieve symptoms such as pain (called palliative therapy).
You may be offered external beam radiation therapy for stage IV salivary gland cancer. It can be used to shrink cancer that is in the salivary gland and lymph nodes in the neck.
Surgery may be offered for stage IVA salivary gland cancer. It can be used if the cancer has not spread to distant organs. It is offered if surgery won’t cause problems with talking or eating or changes to your appearance.
The surgeon may do either a total parotidectomy or sialoadenectomy. Neck dissection to remove lymph nodes in the neck is usually done with these surgeries.
Chemoradiation may be offered for stage IV salivary gland cancer. Chemoradiation is treatment that combines chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is given during the same time period as radiation therapy. Some types of chemotherapy make radiation therapy more effective.
You may be asked if you want to join a clinical trial for salivary gland cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.
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What’s the lifetime risk of getting cancer?
The latest Canadian Cancer Statistics report shows about half of Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.