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Salivary gland tumors: Epidemiology, diagnosis, evaluation, and staging

Scott A Laurie, MD, FRCPC
Section Editors
Bruce E Brockstein, MD
David M Brizel, MD
Daniel G Deschler, MD, FACS
Deputy Editor
Michael E Ross, MD


This topic presents an overview of the spectrum of salivary gland tumors, including their clinical presentation, diagnosis, initial evaluation, and staging.

Other relevant topics include:


Salivary gland tumors constitute an uncommon, heterogeneous group of neoplasms that vary considerably in their anatomic site of origin, histology, and biologic behavior (figure 1). Both benign and malignant salivary gland tumors are classified according to the 2005 World Health Organization system (table 1) [1]. (See "Pathology of head and neck neoplasms", section on 'Salivary gland tumors'.)

Anatomically, the parotid gland is the most frequent site of salivary gland tumors, accounting for approximately 80 to 85 percent of these tumors [1,2]. About three-fourths of parotid lesions are benign and approximately 25 percent are malignant [3].


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Literature review current through: Feb 2015. | This topic last updated: Sep 10, 2013.
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