Outstanding cancer care requires an unparalleled team. Our specialists in medical oncology, chemotherapy, radiation medicine, pathology and surgery all work and consult together to deliver you the most effective treatments.

Our head and neck surgeons are experts at complex, highly technical surgical techniques to remove salivary gland tumors. We use advanced monitoring to protect facial nerves during surgery.

  • We treat most salivary gland tumors with surgery first. Salivary gland tumors are rare, but our surgeons are experienced and perform more than 100 of these delicate surgeries each year.
  • These tumors occur in areas close to sensitive nerves that control sensation and movement of the facial muscles. Our doctors use advanced facial nerve monitoring during surgery. This allows us to preserve as much nerve function as possible.
  • We also use reconstructive techniques to surgically repair any damaged tissue.

We often use radiation therapy after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and prevent cancer from returning. Radiation uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer.

Radiation therapy can also be used for:

  • Tumors that cannot be removed with surgery
  • Patients who do not want surgery
  • Cancers that have spread to other areas

Learn more about our services by visiting our Radiation Oncology website.

Chemotherapy refers to medications that are typically given through an IV infusion to treat certain cancers. These medications help to destroy cancer cells but can have undesirable side effects. Therefore, chemotherapy is only used when the benefit of treatment outweighs the risk. Chemotherapy use depends on what type of cancer you have as explained here:

  • Chemotherapy is not required for benign salivary tumors.
  • Chemotherapy is also not required for most localized salivary gland cancers.
  • We use chemotherapy to treat more aggressive forms of salivary gland cancers that have spread, or metastasized, to other parts of the body.
NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - A Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Markey Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center – a distinction that recognizes our commitment to accelerating precision cancer research and care to patients. We are the first and only NCI-Comprehensive Cancer Center in Kentucky, and one of 56 in the nation.