Salivary gland carcinomas in children and adolescents: A population-based study, with comparison to adult cases

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Background.Salivary gland carcinomas are rare malignancies, particularly in young individuals in whom only scanty data are available from published studies.Methods.We searched the SEER database (1973–2006) for patients with a reported diagnosis of salivary gland carcinoma; children/adolescents (<20 years old) were compared with adults.Results.We identified 263 children/adolescents (58% girls) and 12,571 adults (43% women). The most common histology was mucoepidermoid carcinoma in both groups, but the percentages of other histologies were different. Children/adolescents had more favorable features with most tumors being localized, with no extension to adjacent tissues or lymphatic spread (76% vs 50% in adults, p < .001). Also most tumors were well differentiated or moderately differentiated (88% vs 49% in adults, p < .001). The 5-year overall survival for children/adolescents was 95% ± 1.5%, compared with 59% ± 0.5% for adults (p < .001).Conclusion.When compared with adults, salivary gland carcinomas in children/adolescents are less advanced, and have more favorable features and better outcome. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2010

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