Skip to Main Content

++

Malignant salivary gland neoplasms represent 3–4% of head and neck malignancies and <0.5% of all cancers diagnosed yearly in the United States, with an incidence of only 1–2 per 100,000 individuals. Unlike the more common mucosal head and neck cancers, which, in general, are attributed to excessive tobacco and alcohol use, specific carcinogenic factors for malignant salivary gland growths have not been as clearly identified. Viral infections, radiation, environmental exposure, and genetic factors have been hypothesized as causes. Malignant salivary gland tumors are classified by the World Health Organization as carcinomas, nonepithelial tumors, lymphomas, metastatic or secondary tumors, and unclassified tumors (Table 19–1).

++
Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 19–1. World Health Organization Classification of Salivary Gland Malignant Neoplasms. 
++

Only 20–25% of parotid gland neoplasms, approximately 45–50% of submandibular gland neoplasms, and > 70% of sublingual and minor salivary gland neoplasms are malignant. However, because 75–80% of salivary gland neoplasms are located in the parotid gland, this gland is still the most common salivary gland to be affected with a malignant neoplasm; a ratio of 40:10:1 is cited for malignant tumors of the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands, respectively.

++

Table 19–2 shows the histologic types of malignant salivary gland disease in order of frequency. The disease site also is important for predicting the histology. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is most common in the parotid gland. Approximately half of malignant submandibular gland neoplasms are adenoid cystic carcinomas. Minor salivary gland malignant neoplasms are most often adenoid cystic carcinomas and adenocarcinomas. Prognosis varies according to histologic type, stage, and primary site.

++
Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 19–2. Frequency of Salivary Gland Malignant Neoplasm by Histologic Type. 
++

The salivary gland unit is depicted in Figure 19–1. The acinus is located at the distal end of a salivary unit. It consists of pyramidal saliva-forming cells arranged around a central lumen, with myoepithelial cells interposed between the basal side of these cells and the basement membrane. Acinar cells may be serous, mucinous, or seromucinous, which explains the different chemical compositions of the saliva of each gland.

++
Figure 19–1.
Graphic Jump Location

The salivary gland unit. (Adapted, with permission, from Thawley SE, Panje WR, Batsakis JG, Lindberg RD. Comprehensive ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.

Ok

About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessSurgery Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessSurgery content and resources including more than 160 instructional videos, 16,000+ high-quality images, interactive board review, 20+ textbooks, and more.

$995 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessSurgery

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.