Squamous cell carcinoma of the parotid gland

Head Neck. 2006 Jul;28(7):626-32. doi: 10.1002/hed.20360.


Background: Our objective was to evaluate the outcome of patients treated for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the parotid gland.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of the tumor registry from 1982 through 2003 at a tertiary referral medical center. Patients with SCC of the parotid gland were identified and followed for a minimum of 2 years after therapy.

Results: SCC involving the parotid was identified in 66 patients. The tumor was a metastasis from a known primary site in 41 patients (62%). In 16 patients (24%), no other primary site was identified, and the tumor may have originated in the parotid gland. Nine patients (14%) were undetermined. Therapy frequently included surgery. The integrity of the facial nerve was preserved in 92% of surgical patients. Only eight patients initially had clinical evidence of cervical metastasis; however, cervical metastasis was identified in 25 patients (44%), changing the course of therapy.

Conclusion: SCC of the parotid gland was metastatic from a known primary tumor in more than half of the patients. The most common site of the primary tumor was a cutaneous malignancy of the head and neck. The high incidence of cervical lymph node involvement underscores the diagnostic and therapeutic importance of neck dissection with parotidectomy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Facial Nerve / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Parotid Neoplasms / secondary
  • Parotid Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies