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Diagnostics of salivary gland cancer

For suspected malignancy, the patient should be immediately referred to an otolaryngologist/clinic.

At Oslo University Hospital, the following examinations are performed according to the UICC certainty level C2 (4).

  • Clinical examination
  • Chest CT
  • CT/MRI of primary tumor area and neck. These examinations give objective measurements for primary tumor and metastases, and are necessary to determine the extent of surgery and modeling of the radiation field.
  • Fine needle cytology of palpable regional nodes or tumor covered by mucosa, possibly with ultrasound.

Possible additional examinations:

  • Blood tests to evaluate liver and kidney function
  • Chest CT in patients with suspected lung metastases/lung tumor
  • If needed, the patient is evaluated by a lung specialist, cardiologist or other specialists for operability.
  • Examination by an oral surgeon/maxillofacial surgeon
  • Orthopantogram

After a complete evaluation, the staging form is completed and the patient's case is evaluated by an interdisciplinary team including a head/neck surgeon, oncologist, pathologist, radiologist, and cancer nurse.


Evaluation for recurrence is the same as for a primary tumor.

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