Treatment difficulties in salivary gland cancer

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Salivary gland cancers are represented by a heterogeneous histologic group of tumors, with low incidence, which may appear both in major and minor salivary glands. This article presents a review of the difficulties which may be encountered in this pathology during the treatment. The diagnosis of salivary gland cancers is often delayed, due to the histopathologic and immunohistochemistry results given in different period of times. There can be several difficulties in following the oncologic pre-treatment protocols, in terms of imaging technique, as MRI, useful for disease staging.

The treatment of salivary gland cancers is complex, due to the local anatomy and their aggressive potential. Because of their decreased incidence, there are few data that investigate the treatment in the case of these diseases. The current therapy available for the patients with salivary gland cancers is represented by complete surgical resection. Several treatment difficulties in cancers of the salivary glands may come from the surgical limitations and the insufficient data for adjuvant and palliative treatment. Due to the limitations of the local health system, there is a heterogeneous distribution of the oncologic centers, lack of equipment, prolonged time to follow general protocols, despite the aspect of case-individualized therapy according to the guidelines. We must not forget the tumor behaviour and individual reactivity of different patients to the same treatment protocol.

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