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Finding a Parotid Tumor Specialist

A parotid tumor is a rare condition, and a general practitioner may not recognize the tumor and properly diagnose it. It is important that patients see a specialist who can properly recognize and diagnose a parotid gland tumor.

It is not uncommon for a parotid tumor to be misdiagnosed. It can be mistaken as a cyst, a lymph node, or a skin tumor. It may not be properly handled due to the misdiagnosis.

The process of finding a proper specialist can be confusing for patients. There are many medical terms that are used to describe medical professionals who handle issues with the ear, nose, and throat, including parotid tumors and parotid gland diseases.

Common terms that may be used for medical professionals who treat this condition include:

Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT)

This is the common term used for medical professionals who specialize in the treatment of ear, nose, and throat related medical conditions. It is easy for people to say and remember ENT versus the official medical term for people who work in this field (Otolaryngology).

ENT’s receive training in all areas related to the ear, nose, and throat; however, there are many general and sub-specialty areas within the ENT field.

Some physicians handle general ENT issues, and some choose to focus on a specific area of ENT and/or choose to receive extra training in a specific field of ENT.

The specialty areas of the ENT field include:

  • Facial Cosmetic Surgery
  • Head and Neck Surgery
  • Laryngology (voice surgery)
  • Neuro-otology (focus on neurological issues with the ear)
  • Otology (focus on dizziness, hearing loss, and tumors of the ear)
  • Pediatric Otolaryngology
  • Rhinology (focus on nose and sinus problems)
  • Sleep Surgery
Otolaryngology

This is the official name for medical professionals who specialize in the ENT field. The official name of this specialty has changed over time from Otolaryngology to Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. 

Otorhinolaryngology

This is a term that many physicians will use instead of Otolaryngology to emphasize the fact that part of their ENT practice includes the treatment of nose (rhino) issues.

The key for patients is to seek a specialist in the ENT field who handles a high volume of parotid tumor cases, which is usually a physician who focuses on Head and Neck surgery, but it could be a general ENT (Otolaryngologist) who has a busy head and neck tumor practice.

For more help selecting a surgeon, click here.

References

1. The content in this section was drafted in consultation with Kerry D. Olsen, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.