Scientists have discovered a new set of salivary glands in the upper part of the throat, which if confirmed, will be the first-ever big discovery made in the last 300 years. This new finding can even play a major role in improving the life quality of people who have to receive radiation therapy for neck and head cancer.
The new set of glands is about 1.5 inches and lie behind the nose, in the nasopharyngeal region, above the throat. The researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute said that in patients with head and neck cancer, there is difficulty in swallowing and salivation. So if sparing these glands in radiotherapy can reduce their suffering.
The proposed name for the glands is ‘tubarial glands’, as they are sitting on a piece of cartilage known as ‘torus tubarius’. Although, more research will be required to confirm that these indeed are a new major set of salivary glands.
It was an accidental discovery when the scientists were studying prostate cancer.