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swollen parotid glands
Aug 11, 2004

I had a CT done and then had raditation treatments for swollen parotid glands about a year ago. The glands did shrink a bit, but they could go some more. I went back to my doctor to ask for another treatment,and he said that he thought it would not help at the same low radation dose I had before. He thinks that the only way to try for improvement would be to up the dose but I would risk losing part of my salivary glands(permanent dry mouth). Have you had any luck with patients having two series of low dose treatements and getting results from both?

Thanks, A reader from Dallas, TX

Response from Dr. Conway

I will assume that this a benign lymphocytic parotid infiltration and that a specific diagnosis has been made by biopsy (this would be important).

The use of HAART can sometimes help this condition, as can a course of steroids. As far as radiation goes, there is a wide range of responses, and many people could require repeat treatment. It is correct to say that the higher the dose of radiation the likelier there are to be side effects of the type you describe, that may be permanent. Radiation oncologists like to use the lowest dose that has a chance of working, so I would ask the person that may do the radiation what dose they would use and why (they probably balanced the likelihood of it working with the likelihood of any side effects). Then, after you have had this chat (and they can get pretty specific), you can make your decision. It is definitely worth having this chat...



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