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Parotid mass
I have a 14mm by 12 mm parotid mass found incidently by an MRI done for my migranes. I Have had some weird neck and jaw sensations that I though were sinus related. I sometimes have quick shooting pains up in my temple that last a split second. The ENT neck specialist says most of these are benign and the MRI images does not look cancerous. I'm getting a CAT scan next week to see what nerves and vessels it is affecting. The Doc also said its in the deep aspect of the parotid gland, so surgery is unlikely unless absolutley necessary. He also said a needle biopsy is also risky.  Do these masses turn to cancer? Being in a dangerous place to operate, is it better to leave it and hope it doesn't turn cancerous?  Also, what are the causes of these masses?  It's too late now to undo the past. I use to smoke but quit 3 years ago. What can I do now health wise to prevent the mass from growing or turning cancerous?
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Hi,
How are you? The parotid gland is the largest of the major salivary glands. Of all Parotid masses, 75% are neoplastic and the remaining 25% are due to cysts and inflammation. Of parotid neoplasms, a good 70-80% are benign. The cause of Parotid masses are not known, although, the possibility of an adenoma gene currently is under investigation. Hematologic and serologic tests are of little help in the workup of salivary gland tumors.
At this point, the best thing to do is to eat healthy and have regular follow up with your doctor. Take care and do keep us posted.
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It's interesting you mentioned the adenoma gene. I just had breast biopsy and it was found to be a Fibroadenoma on my left breast. The parotid mass is on my left side. Is this a recently researched connection?
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Hi,
Fibroadenoma usually refers to an adenoma with plenty of fibrous tissue. this usually refers to the benign breast condition. While an adenoma is a benign tumor of glandular origin. This can  arise in epithelium of mucosa, glands, and ducts from all over the body. The adenoma gene, particularly the Pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) refers to a more specific gene found in the chromosome which is usually affected in parotid tumors. There has been studies for the last few years wherein isolation of the gene correlates with the presence of these tumors. However, it is still under investigation.
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Thank you for the information. My cat scan is tomorrow and the appointment to go over results is Friday. I'm taking my mom...I'm very scared!  I'm really scared because of it's location and how it would be difficult and dangerous to remove wheather is is benign or cancerous. I'm also worried about it getting bigger and messing up my swallowing or breathing ability and/or causing pain.
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Hi,
Try not to be scared. I do understand how you are felling right now.  It is good that your mom is with you. As I have mentioned, majority of parotid masses are benign. And it can also be due to inflammation or harmless cysts. What is important is that you ask your doctors anything that you don't understand about the procedure or differential diagnoses and the effects and symptoms. Being aware of what is happening and learning what it is, is already a step in being in control of the situation and will lessen any anxiety and the fear of the unknown. Stay positive and you'll get over this before you knew it. I will be praying for you also. All the best.
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Tomorrow is the day when my ENT neck surgen looks at my cat scan and MRI to give me a prognosis. I'm scared cause my neck is soar and I felt a small gland type bump on my shoulder by my collar bone. It's on the same side as the mass, and I don't have the same type bump on the other side. Hope the Cat scan picked it up. I'm terrified that this is cancer, even thought I know it is more likely benign. I am also afraid that it may be growing into nerves and artieries that are affecting my facial control and my voice. Sometimes my neck and throat feel so tight after talking I just need to lay down. I also feel the "lump" in my throat on the left side where the mass is.
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Hi,
I understand how you are feeling right now. Try not to be scared about tomorrow.  What you can do is to write all the questions you want to ask your doctor so that you will not miss anything. if you do not understand the technical terms, ask for clarifications. Knowing is one way of being in control of the situation. Hang on and do keep us posted. Take care.
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The Neck surgen said the CAT scan and MRI all point to a benign cyst/tumor. We will keep an eye on it and not risk sugery since it it is in the deep aspect of the parotid glad and it could be dangerous to dig around in there. I get an MRI in 3 months to see if it grew, then again in 6 months. If it is not growing any bigger, I can wait to get an MRI on it once a year. We want to hold off on a risky surgery as long as possible. I guess the surgery could damage face and throat nerves that could effect your language and face control. I'll put up with a bit of discomfort for a while.
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Hi,
Knowing that the lesion is a benign cyst is a good thing. Try not to worry and put up with the discomfort for a while. Surgery is usually not indicated for this but a regular  follow-up with your doctors is also highly recommended. Take care and all the best.
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