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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992 Aug;118(8):798-801.

Primary squamous cell carcinoma of the parotid gland.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905.


We reviewed all cases of possible primary squamous cell carcinoma of the parotid gland treated at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, from 1960 through 1988. Eighteen cases of primary squamous cell carcinoma of the parotid gland were identified. We report the clinical behavior and results of treatment of these rare parotid gland neoplasms. The age at diagnosis ranged from 48 to 86 years; the majority of patients were aged 65 years or older. Half of the patients presented with an asymptomatic parotid gland mass; a painful mass occurred in 33% of patients. Facial paralysis was noted in 17%, and a neck was the presenting symptom in 11% of patients. All patients underwent parotidectomy, and all or part of the facial nerve was sacrificed in 66% of patients. A neck dissection was performed in 12 patients, five of whom had pathologic confirmation of neck metastasis. Adjunctive radiation therapy was performed in 55% of patients. The overall survival at 5 years was 50%. Deep fixation and facial nerve paralysis were associated with a poor prognosis. Most recurrences developed within 1 year of initial treatment. Regional recurrence was always associated with a rapid death. Our data suggest that aggressive treatment and early detection may result in a better prognosis than is commonly associated with these tumors.

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