Tumors of Salivary Glands

By Dr. Vishaal Bhat on Sunday 2 December 2007 with 0 comments



Salivary gland tumors may appear at any age, however, they occur mainly during the fourth to sixth decennium. Clinical manifestations include a slow, non-painful growth and gradual deformations of the face. Tumors can be found most often in the parotid gland (90%), submandibular gland (about 9%) and rarely in the sublingual salivary gland or small salivary glands.

Classification of salivary glands tumors

  1. Epithelial tumors

    1. Adenomas

      1. Pleomorphic adenoma

      2. Monomorphic adenoma

        1. Adenolymphoma

        2. Oxyphil adenoma

        3. Other types

    2. Mucoepidermoid tumor

    3. Acinocellular tumor

    4. Carcinomas

      1. Adenoid cystic carcinoma

      2. Adenocarcinoma

      3. Epidermoid carcinoma

      4. Non-differentiated carcinoma

      5. Carcinom in the pleomorphic adenoma

  2. Non-epithelial tumors

  3. Non-classified tumors

  4. Tumor-like states

      1. Benign lymphoepithelial lesion

      2. Sialoses

      3. Oncocytoses


According to the old classification, tumors can be divided into the following classes:

  1. Sialomas: true tumors that originate from epithelial cells of acini or ducts. Here belong all types of adenomas, mucoepidermoid and acinocellular tumors and carcinomas.

  2. Synsialomas: originate from the salivary glands interstitial tissue. This class includes non-epithelial and some of non-classified tumors.

  3. Parasialomas: all types of tumors of epithelial and mesenchymal types that grow in the proximity of salivary glands.


Therapy for salivary gland tumors is mainly surgical in cases of benign neoplasms. In cases of malignant tumors, a combined therapy including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy is indicated. The submandibular salivary gland containing a tumor is extirpated as a whole. The extent of a surgery at the parotid gland is determined by a pre-operational histological examination. The surgery includes either partial or total parotidectomy, while the maximum effort is paid to preserving the facial nerve. A diagnostic excision of a tumor for pre-operational examinations is not recommended in cases of salivary gland tumors due to possibility of a tumor dispersal.

Category: Oral Pathology Notes

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