Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the most common type of salivary gland cancer which is caused when one of the different cell types starts to develop into a tumor. When it develops, it begins to slowly grow as a painless swelling that might go through phases of rapid growth and cervical metastasis as it increases its tumor grade.
The symptoms for mucoepidermoid carcinomas are the following:
It is important to understand that the composition of these tumors is not of a single type of cancerous cell type but from several mucoepidermoid carcinoma cell types. The proportion of these cells, along with the histological grade of the tumor, affects the appearance of the individual tumors.
In addition to these three main types, clear cells and columnar cells can be found within the tumors, however they are found in much smaller quantities than the other three noted.
The histological classification of mucoepidermoid carcinoma cell types is divided in three different grades that indicate the severity of the tumor.
The types of grades are the following:
This classification has served physicians to generate accurate prognostic indicators for the people afflicted by mucoepidermoid carcinoma cell types, with the low-grade carcinomas having very high 5-year survival rates, with mortality being as low as 0-4%. However, high-grade mucoepidermoid carcinoma present high mortality rates so it is advised to seek medical assistance in order to have them treated as soon as possible.
The fast identification, diagnosis and selection of treatment of malignant types of tumors such as mucoepidermoid carcinoma are critical for the well-being of patients. There always exists the danger of recurrence if the tumor is removed in advanced stages, or if not removed completely.