RESEARCH – January 2006

Parotid gland tumours in Estonia


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Salivary gland tumours are uncommon, constituting about 2–3% of all head and neck neoplasms. They are mainly asymptomatic, which results in their late diagnosis. The majority of salivary gland tumours are benign: 80% are located in the parotid glands, 50% in the submandibular and less than 40% in the sublingual and the minor salivary glands. In any case radical surgical treatment with long-term follow- up is recommended.
The objective of the study was to describe the demographic data, different diagnostic groups, disease stages, survival and the role of surgery alone or in combination with radiotherapy in treatment of the carcinoma of the parotid gland in Estonia.
Methods. The list of patients with parotid gland cancer was obtained from the Estonian Cancer Registry. There were 113 patients with malignant parotid tumours  reported from 1990 to 2000. The medical records of all patients were reviewed and the data of demographics, tumour stage and grade, survival and different types of treatment were collected. Cumulative survival rates were presented by the Kaplan-Meier method separately for each subdiagnosis.
Results and conclusions. There were 57 female and 56 male patients with a mean age of 61 years. Fine needle aspiration was taken from 80 patients. The histological laboratory findings were divided into 8 subdiagnoses. Survival rate at 1 year varied from 43 % in the group of nondifferentiated carcinoma up to 100 % in the group of adenoid cystic carcinoma and acinic cell adenocarcinoma.