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Surgery remains the main treatment for Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. In some instances, for example when the tumour is growing on or near a vital organ, surgery may not be possible.

Surgery may involve reconstruction of the affected area using bone or tissue from other parts of the body, or the use of a prosthesis.  After a short recovery period, surgery is often followed with a course of radiotherapy.

If you’re having surgery for a salivary gland cancer, you can choose to donate tissue from your tumour to a biobank (either a local biobank or the biobank at the Christie hospital). Your tumour can then be profiled to reveal unique characteristics of your disease at a molecular level. This can help doctors understand which treatments are most likely to deliver the best results for you. Your sample will also play an important role in driving forward research.

Sites where primary tumours grow in ACC

  • Major salivary glands
    • Parotid — the largest salivary gland found on either side of the face in front of each ear
    • Submandibular — found under the jawbone
    • Sublingual glands — located in the bottom of the mouth under the tongue
  • Minor salivary glands
    • Palate — roof of the mouth
    • Nasopharynx — an air passageway at the upper part of the throat and behind the nose
    • Tongue base — the back third of the tongue
    • Mucosal lining of the mouth — the inner lining of the mouth; glands located here produce mucus
    • Larynx — the voice box
    • Trachea — the windpipe
  • Other glands   
    • Breast
    • Skin 
    • Vulva and womb