Salivary gland cancer in patients younger than 30 years | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Salivary gland cancer in patients younger than 30 years

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April 1, 2011
by Amy L. Rutt, DO, Mary J. Hawkshaw, BSN, RN, CORLN, Deborah Lurie, PhD, and Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS


Previous research has shown that salivary gland tumors are rare in the young population. A clinical diagnosis has to be made very carefully because the proportion of malignancies is higher in children than in adults. We present a review of cases of malignant salivary gland carcinoma (SGC) in patients younger than 30 years of age. Data were extracted from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) 17 Registry. A total of 763 patients younger than 30 years with carcinoma of a major salivary gland from 1973 to 2004 were identified within the SEER database. The most common salivary gland cancer was mucoepidermoid parotid gland carcinoma. The incidence of all major salivary gland carcinomas increased with increasing patient age. The 5-year relative survival rate for salivary gland carcinomas in our population was calculated according to the Kaplan-Meier analysis in each age group. Relative 5-year survival was 100% in the 1 patient younger than 1 year, 50.0% in the 1- to 4-year-old group; 87.2% among the 5- to 9-year-olds; 97.0% among the 10- to 14-year-olds; 95.0% among the 15- to 19-year-olds; 95.1% among the 20- to 24-year-olds; and 93.6% in the 25- to 29-year-old group. We found that SGC affects patients of all ages, even children in the first year of life. It is essential for physicians to detect salivary gland neoplasms promptly and to evaluate them thoroughly when they are found in children.

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