Follow Up for Malignant Tumors
For most malignant tumors, the patient is often seen for at least 10 to 20 years following surgery. Depending on the tumor location and surgery performed, some benign pleomorphic adenomas are also followed for the same amount of time.
The purpose of the follow up appointments is to allow surgeons to detect any recurrences at the early stages of development. The frequency of follow up visits for a malignant parotid tumor will be determined by the tumor type, surgical outcome, behavior of the tumor, and the stage and grade of the tumor.
In addition, the surgeon will also consider whether the tumor has spread to any lymph nodes when deciding on the best post-surgical treatment plan for the patient.
There are some low-grade malignant tumors that generally have a low recurrence rate and may not need to be followed for a long period of time.