On average, it costs $1,323 for Cristina's treatment
- Impact on patient's life
- Cultural or regional significance
What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?
Parotid tumors often cause swelling in the face or jaw that usually isn't painful. Other symptoms include numbness, burning or prickling sensations in the face, or a loss of facial movement.
What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?
Parotid tumors decrease the patient's well-being and quality of life.
What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?
Especially when left untreated, people with parotid tumor can tend to be socially excluded from their communities, due to the stigma against people with physical deformities. These may be in the form of lack of employment opportunities, loss of connection with peers, even family, discrimination based on false beliefs on physical deformities (e.g. generational curses because of slights against higher beings).
- Impact on patient's life
- Risks and side-effects
What does the treatment process look like?
Parotid tumor treatment usually involves surgery to remove the tumor. If the tumor contains cancerous cells, the doctor may recommend additional treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?
Removing part of the parotid gland. For most parotid tumors, surgeons may cut away the tumor and some of the healthy parotid gland tissue around it (superficial parotidectomy).
Removing all of the parotid glands. Surgery to remove all of the parotid gland (total parotidectomy) might be recommended for larger tumors and those that affect the deeper parts of the parotid gland.
More extensive surgery for larger cancers. If parotid cancer has grown into nearby bone and muscles, a more extensive operation may be necessary. Surgeons try to remove all of the cancer and a small amount of the healthy tissue that surrounds it. Then they work to repair the area so you can continue to chew, swallow, speak, breathe and move your face. This may involve transferring skin, tissue, bone or nerves from other parts of your body to make repairs.
What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?
Permanent damage is possible but usually occurs in only the most difficult cases. Depending on the branch of the nerve that is damaged you may experience weakness of the lower lip, leading to a slightly crooked smile, weakness of the eyelids, making it difficult to keep the eye closed.
How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?
The care facility is equipped and accessible to handle this procedure for patients within the capital region of the country. In other cases, patients need to travel long distances to access care.
What are the alternatives to this treatment?
Patients experiencing parotid tumors may look for pain medication or treatment that will stabilize the growth.