This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Mucoepidermoid tumour of the salivary gland

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The mucoepidermoid tumour arises from the duct cells and is the most common salivary gland malignancy, accounting for about one third of such tumours. Any age may be affected; they constitute the commonest salivary gland tumours of childhood.

About 60-70% occur in the parotids, 15-20% in the minor salivary glands, and 10% in the submaxillary glands.

Macroscopically, mucoepidermoid tumours are firm, encapsulated and greyish red. Microscopically, squamous and glandular elements indicate a ductal epithelium origin; diffuse infiltration with mucin indicates a high grade tumour.

They are slowly growing with a tendency to local recurrence, but regional lymph node spread occurs in 30% of cases, and distant metastases in 15%.

After treatment by excision, low grade forms have an excellent prognosis with survival rates at 5 years of about 90%; for high grade forms, 5 year survival falls to 30%. Radiotherapy may be used as an adjunct for high grade lesions.

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Annotations allow you to add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation. E.g. a website or number. This information will always show when you visit this page.