Salivary gland cancer is a rare form of cancer that begins in the salivary glands.
Salivary gland cancer can begin in any of the salivary glands in your mouth, neck or throat. Salivary glands make saliva, which aids in digestion, keeps your mouth moist and supports healthy teeth.
You have three pairs of major salivary glands under and behind your jaw — parotid, sublingual and submandibular. Many other tiny salivary glands are in your lips, inside your cheeks, and throughout your mouth and throat.
Salivary gland cancer most commonly occurs in the parotid gland, which is just in front of the ear.
Treatment for salivary gland cancer often involves surgery. Other treatments for salivary gland cancer may include radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Salivary gland cancer care at Mayo Clinic