New organ in throat discovered

The scientists in Netherlands have discovered a new organ in human throat during a research on prostate cancer. The scientists of the Netherlands Cancer Institute discovered a set of salivary glands in the upper part of the throat. they have named the organ Tubarial salivary glands.

Key highlights

The newly discovered organ is about 1.5 inches in length and is located over a piece of cartilage called torus tubarius. According to the scientist the main function of the organ is to lubricate and moisten the upper throat. It is located right behind the nose and mouth.

They have been named as Tubarial glands in reference to their anatomical location. The characteristics of the gland is similar to that of the salivary glands.

About the discovery

The new organ was discovered when the scientist were studying about Cancer cells using PSMA PET-CT Technology. The gland was found in more than hundred patients.

Usually in radiotherapy doctors treating cancer in neck and head avoid the main salivary glands because damaging them could make it difficult for the patients to eat speak or swallow. However, in this new Discovery, find is found that these glands are getting hit by radiation as the oncologist were not aware of their existence in the human body.

The organ cannot be seen through conventional methods of medical imaging such as CT scans, ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

It was now discovered through Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen Imaging using positron emission tomography.

Salivary Glands

The human salivary gland system is divided into major glands and minor glands. The major glands are submandibular, parotid and sublingual glands. The minor salivary glands are distributed in groups of hundreds. They are located in the upper aerodigestive tract mucosa.

These glands help in producing saliva required for swallowing, mastication, digestion, dental hygiene and tasting.


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