Located in front of the ears, the parotid glands are one of the body’s major salivary glands. They extend to the area beneath the earlobe along the lower border of the jawbone. Of all the salivary glands, about 80 percent of all tumors are found in the parotid glands. Most parotid gland tumors are noncancerous (benign).
Parotidectomy is the surgical removal of a portion of the parotid gland. The paratoid gland is typically removed because of a tumor, a chronic infection, or a blocked saliva gland. A number of tumors can develop in the parotid gland. Some of these are tumors that have spread from other areas of the body, entering the parotid gland through the lymphatic system. Among the cancerous (malignant) tumors seen in the parotid gland are lymphoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.