The epidemiology of salivary gland tumors worldwide is not very well defined. Although many studies on this subject have been undertaken, the data are generally focused on specific topics such as parotid gland neoplasms or tumors of the major salivary glands. We conducted a study to establish the prevalence and distribution of benign and malignant neoplasms of both the major and minor salivary glands at a single institution. We reviewed 244,204 cases that had come through our pathology department from January 1994 through December 2005 and found 235 cases of a salivary gland neoplasm (0.09%). The female-to-male ratio was 1.04:1, and the mean age of the patients was 47 years. Of the 235 neoplasms, 159 (67.66%) were located in the parotid gland, 34 (14.47%) in the submandibular gland, and 42 (17.87%) in the minor salivary glands. A total of 146 tumors (62.13%) were benign and 89 (37.87%) were malignant. Pleomorphic adenoma was the most common neoplasm, occurring in 98 cases (41.70%). The most common malignancy was mucoepidermoid carcinoma, with 27 cases (11.49%). Our data demonstrate that the characteristics of salivary gland tumors in a Turkish population at a single institution are similar to those reported in the literature worldwide.
The worldwide prevalence of salivary gland tumors is not well established.1,2 Uncertainty in the prevalence of these tumors can be attributed to their uncommon nature, their morphologic heterogeneity, and the challenges encountered in classifying them consistently.3,4 The reported annual prevalence of all salivary gland tumors globally ranges from 0.4 to 13.5 cases per 100,000 population.5,6 Salivar
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