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Newly Diagnosed

It is often a stressful and scary time when you are first diagnosed with a parotid gland tumor. Patients may feel overwhelmed and fearful of what this diagnosis means, and what treatment is required to properly deal with a parotid tumor.

It is normal to feel that way, and most parotid patients felt the same way when they were first diagnosed. The Parotid Patient Project is here to help you through the process by providing you with information, resources, and support. 

It is important that patients keep in mind that the vast majority of parotid tumors (80%) are benign, and the vast majority of the parotid surgeries go very well.

The support from fellow patients who have been through this process is very helpful, and we encourage you to join our patient forum to discuss your concerns with other patients.

What Should I Do After I am Diagnosed?

At Parotid Patient Project, we believe that the most important thing for patients to do after diagnosis is to find a skilled head and neck surgeon with extensive experience handling parotid tumors.

It is not recommended that patients have their surgery performed by a general ENT surgeon who does not handle many parotid cases.

It is absolutely critical that this surgery is performed correctly and completely the first time to reduce the chances of having a tumor recurrence or complications, and to increase the chances of having a positive outcome.

Internet Research

The first thing most patients will do after being diagnosed is to start researching the condition on the internet.  It can be very overwhelming and can increase anxiety.

There is a lot of negative information on the internet that can lead a patient to believe that the chance of having permanent facial paralysis after parotid surgery is very high. In reality, the chances of having permanent facial paralysis should be very low. 

Due to the scary, outdated, and misleading information on the internet, our Founder and Executive Director, Heidi Semann, teamed up with her head and neck surgeon at the Mayo Clinic, Eric J. Moore, M.D., to create a series of videos about this process to help provide patients with current and trusted information to assist them in making informed decisions about their own medical care.

Click here to view the videos.

Click here to learn more about this topic in our podcast series, Parotid Tumor Podcast. 


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