Salivary Gland Cancer on a Tablet's ScreenYour body contains several hundred salivary glands. These glands are found in your cheeks, nose, sinuses, larynx, lips, tongue, and the roof of your mouth.

The three major salivary glands are parotid glands, submandibular glands, and sublingual glands. These major salivary glands, together with hundreds of minor salivary glands, create saliva to help you digest food and prevent mouth and throat infections, but they can also be the sites of salivary gland cancer.

Many Types of Salivary Gland Cancer

Salivary glands are made up of many different types of cells. According to the American Cancer Society, cancer can develop in any of these cells. Some of the common types of salivary gland cancers include:

  • Mucoepidermoid carcinoma
  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma
  • Adenocarcinomas, including acinic cell carcinoma, polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma (PLGA), and adenocarcinoma, not otherwise specified (NOS). Rarer adenocarcinomas include basal cell adenocarcinoma, clear cell carcinoma, cystadenocarcinoma, sebaceous adenocarcinoma, sebaceous lymphadenocarcinoma, mucinous adenocarcinoma, oncocytic carcinoma, and salivary gland carcinoma.
  • Malignant mixed tumors, including carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma, carcinosarcoma, and metastasizing mixed tumors.


  • Rare cancers can occur in the salivary glands. These cancers include, for example, squamous cell carcinoma, epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma, anaplastic small cell carcinoma, and undifferentiated carcinomas.
  • Other types of cancers may affect the salivary glands. These cancers include non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sarcomas, and cancers that start elsewhere in the body and spread to the salivary glands.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability With Salivary Gland Cancer

If you have salivary gland cancer, then you may qualify for Social Security disability by:

  • Meeting the requirements of Listing 13.08 in the Blue Book. If you have carcinoma or sarcoma of the salivary glands with metastases beyond the regional lymph nodes, then you meet the requirements of Listing 13.08.
  • Proving that your illness is equal in severity to another Blue Book Listing. If you have a different type of salivary gland cancer that does not meet the requirements of Listing 13.08, then you may qualify for Social Security disability by proving that your illness has the same effect on you as any listing included in the Blue Book.
  • Convincing the Social Security Administration that your condition is totally disabling and permanent or expected to result in your death. Even if your cancer doesn’t meet a specific Blue Book listing and is not equal in severity to a specific Blue Book listing, you may still qualify for disability benefits by proving that you can’t work and that your disability is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.

You only need to prove one of these three things to qualify for benefits.

Expediting Salivary Gland Cancer Social Security Disability Applications

Some illnesses, such as salivary cancer, are included in the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowance list.

If you convince the Social Security Administration that you qualify for the Compassionate Allowance program, then the approval process will be expedited, and you may qualify for benefits much faster than you otherwise would. In some cases, decisions may be made in just a few weeks. However, you still need to file a complete initial Social Security disability application before a disability determination is made.

Get the Social Security Disability Benefits You Deserve for Salivary Cancer

The Social Security Administration denies the majority of initial Social Security disability applications. Many of these initial denials are because of missing or incorrect information on the application.

The Social Security Administration only accepts complete disability applications for its consideration. Therefore, you can save yourself time, money, and aggravation by getting your application right the first time and making sure that it includes all of the necessary medical and supporting documentation.

You don’t have to prepare or submit your application alone and worry about making a mistake if you have cancer. Instead, we invite you to contact our experienced Boston area Social Security disability lawyers for a free consultation. We routinely handle Social Security disability matters in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, and we would be happy to talk to you about your rights and potential benefits. Call us or fill out our online contact form today to learn more.

Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.


John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer