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Mucoepidermoid carcinoma

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Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is a type of cancer of the salivary glands.  Salivary gland cancer is diagnosed in 2-3 individuals per 100,000 people each year, and 30-35% of these are mucoepidermoid carcinomas.[1][2]   Mucoepidermoid carcinoma develops when a cell randomly acquires changes (mutations) in genes that regulate how the cell divides such that it begins to grow quickly, forming a cluster of cells (a mass or lump).[1]  The earliest signs of a mucoepidermoid carcinoma may include a lump in the face, neck, or mouth; numbness, weakness, or pain in part of the face; or difficulty swallowing.  Treatment often begins with surgery to remove the entire tumor.  In some cases, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy may be used after surgery to ensure that no cancer cells remain in the body.[2]
Last updated: 6/18/2013


  1. Chandana SR, Conley BA. Salivary gland cancers: current treatments, molecular characteristics and new therapies.. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy. 2008; 8:645-652. Accessed 8/3/2011.
  2. American Cancer Society. Salviary Gland Cancer. Learn About Cancer. 2011; Accessed 8/3/2011.
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