Cancer in the salivary glands is rare, even if there are at least around 20 different types difficult to diagnose microscopically. An experienced pathologist in this field is often necessary to correctly classify the cancer type originating in the salivary glands.
Tumors in the salivary glands are often benign (pleomorphic adenoma) and diagnosed by fine-needle aspiration cytology. In most cases of pleomorphic adenoma is the cytological diagnosis simple, but there are instances where the diagnosis can be very difficult, especially when malignant tumor appear.
Only a limited number of malignant subtypes are mentioned below:
- mucoepidermoid carcinoma
- adenoid cystic carcinoma
- acinic cell carcinoma
- salivary duct carcinoma
- carcinoma in pleomorphic adenoma