We never knew about the existence of this organ in our body!
A set of salivary glands had been in our bodies, and we never knew about them! Till now. Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered a potential new organ in the human throat that they stumbled upon while carrying out research on prostate cancer. Researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute have identified a set of salivary glands deep in the upper part of the throat and have named them “tubarial salivary glands”.
The researchers confirmed the presence of the glands after examining at least 100 patients. The discovery may be important for cancer treatment. So far, this nasopharynx region — behind the nose — was not thought to host anything but microscopic, diffuse, salivary glands.
The newly discovered glands are about 1.5 inches (3.9 centimeters) in length on average and are located over a piece of cartilage called the torus tubarius, Livescience reported. According to the researchers, the glands probably lubricate and moisten the upper throat behind the nose and mouth.
Researchers believe that their discovery is potentially good news for some cancer patients with head and neck cancers. Patients with head and neck cancers and tumours in the tongue or the throat are treated with radiation therapy that can damage the new salivary glands, whose location was not previously known.
Smell is the only one of the five senses directly connected to the area of the brain where memories are formed and emotions are processed.