Parotid Gland Tumor Information


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170 people have provided answers to pre-op questions.  Bench mark yourself against them. Age, gender, health, etc.

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The information below was obtained from internet sources and I can not guarantee their accuracy.  However, I've seen the information repeated at many medical sites.

The Links in the gray box on the left relate to my own experiences. You will also find a Bulletin Board  there where you can exchange correspondence with myself as well as others.  More than 2,000 messages with great information have been posted there.  You may find comfort in being able to talk to others who have experienced what you are going through.

Warning! Don't try to diagnose yourself.  Have your family doctor refer you to an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) office.

Benign Tumors

Most salivary gland tumors are benign and by far the most common site is the parotid gland. 80% of parotid tumors are benign, of which 80% are pleomorphic adenomas, and 80% arise from the superficial lobe of the parotid. There is a greater chance of malignancy in the submandibular and sublingual glands with 50% being benign. Other benign tumors included in the differential include Warthin's Tumor, acidophilic cell adenoma, and monomorphic adenoma. Adequate resection of benign salivary gland lesions provides a 97-98% control rate.

Over 84% of pleomorphic adenomas occur in the parotid gland, 8% occur in the submandibular gland, and 6.4% occur in the minor salivary glands. Pleomorphic adenomas are typically seen in middle aged women and present as a painless slowly growing mass. Transformation to a malignant tumor is seen in only 2-5% of cases and is usually associated with tumors that have been present for 10-15 years.

Warthin's tumor is the second most common benign lesion in the parotid gland. These represent 2-10% of all parotid gland tumors. Unlike the pleomorphic adenomas, they are more common in men and also present in the 40-70-year-old age group. They are more common in whites than blacks.

Malignant Tumors

The malignant pleomorphic adenoma, compared to the benign pleomorphic adenoma, is relatively rare.

The most common malignant tumor of the parotid gland is the mucoepidermoid carcinoma, which can be classified as low grade or high grade. Other malignant lesions include adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, malignant degeneration of a pleomorphic adenoma, and adenoid cystic carcinoma .

Signs and symptoms of parotid malignancy include facial nerve paralysis, pain, or facial paresis. Treatment of malignant salivary tumors include local surgical excision and consideration of neck dissection. Low grade mucoepidermoid cancers of the salivary glands are very curable. Squamous cell, high grade mucoepidermoid, and malignant mixed tumors are less curable with five year survivals in the range of 50%. Adenoid cystic carcinoma is more idle, with a 10 year survival in the range of 10-25%. Malignancy arising in a minor salivary gland tends to be more aggressive in nature.

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