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Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012 Jul;41(7):801-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2011.12.020. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Signs and symptoms of parotid gland carcinoma and their prognostic value.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland.


The aim of this study was to analyse signs and symptoms present in patients with parotid gland carcinoma and to assess their prognostic value. A retrospective study of data from 131 patients who were treated surgically was performed. Evaluation of prognostic factors was possible in 109 patients who completed a minimum 5 year follow up. The most common sign and symptoms were parotid mass (96.9%), pain (40.4%), enlarged cervical lymph nodes (32.0%), facial nerve palsy (20.6%) and overlying skin infiltration (19.8%). In 20% of all cases there were no symptoms of tumour malignancy. The average duration of symptoms suggesting malignancy was 4 months. In univariate analysis, the strongest prognostic value was found for facial nerve palsy; it reduced nearly tenfold (9.7) the 5-year disease-free survival. The subsequent poor prognostic factors were: skin infiltration, enlarged cervical lymph nodes, tumour fixation and tumour size (>4 cm). Pain and the dynamics of tumour growth were not statistically significant for survival rate. Significant difference in 5-year disease free survival rate was found between the groups of patients, according to the number of symptoms suggesting malignancy. The multivariate analysis showed that only facial nerve palsy and skin infiltration were independent prognostic factors.

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