Newly Diagnosed

Newly Diagnosed Salivary Gland Cancer? What You Should Know

If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with salivary gland cancer, you're probably thinking hard about what to do next. Educating yourself about cancer and understanding the various treatment options that are explained on these pages is a good start. However, your most important decision is selecting where to get your cancer treated. 
Studies have shown that the first treatment you receive for cancer is by far the most important. That's why your first choice in a treatment center needs to be the right one. Patients who begin their treatment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance often have better outcomes than those who started treatment elsewhere. Not only can you expect the best standard of care available, patients at SCCA have access to advanced therapies and treatments being explored in the several ongoing clinical trials for salivary gland cancer conducted at SCCA's parent organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is one of only three facilities in the United States that offers neutron therapy, an especially powerful kind of radiation therapy that's been shown to be effective against salivary gland tumors and some other forms of cancer.

Each year our doctors use neutron therapy to treat about 100 people with cancer. About 80 percent of these patients have tumors of their major or minor salivary glands. They come from all around the country and the world.

“This is the best nonsurgical treatment available for salivary gland tumors,” says Dr. George Laramore, MD, PhD, radiation oncology specialist. Laramore has treated patients with neutrons from all corners of the United States and as far away as Israel, Taiwan, Australia, and countries throughout Europe and South America.

“Because this is a rare tumor, there are not going to be very many neutron facilities in the country. We are very lucky that we have one here in the Northwest,” says Laramore. “We probably see more salivary gland patients than any other treatment center in the world.”