- How is salivary gland cancer treated?
- Surgery for salivary gland cancer
- Radiation therapy for salivary gland cancer
- Chemotherapy for salivary gland cancer
- Clinical trials for salivary gland cancer
- Complementary and alternative therapies for salivary gland cancer
- Treatment options by stage of salivary gland cancer
- Recurrent salivary gland cancer
- More treatment information for salivary gland cancer
Recurrent salivary gland cancer
Cancer is called recurrent when it comes back after treatment. Recurrence can be local (in or near the same place it started) or distant (spread to organs such as the lungs or liver). If your cancer returns after treatment, the choices available to you depend on the location and the extent of the cancer and what treatment was used the first time around. It is important to understand the goal of any further treatment -- whether it is to try to cure the cancer or to help relieve symptoms -- as well as the likelihood of benefits and risks.
If the cancer is thought to be resectable (able to be completely removed with surgery), surgery is usually the treatment of choice when possible. This is often followed by radiation therapy if it wasn't given before.
If the cancer returns in the area where it started but is not resectable, radiation therapy may be an option. Chemotherapy (chemo) may be used along with the radiation or by itself (especially if radiation therapy was already used as part of the initial treatment).
Cancers that recur in distant parts of the body are usually treated with chemo. In selected cases, other treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy may be used to help relieve symptoms from the spread of the cancer. Because these cancers can be hard to treat, clinical trials of newer treatment approaches may be a good option.
Last Medical Review: 09/21/2012
Last Revised: 09/21/2012