Learn More - Salivary Gland Carcinomas
What is Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma (MEC)?
Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma is the most common salivary gland cancer, representing 25-35% of all malignancies at these locations. MEC behaves based on tumor grade where Grade I has a generally benign course while Grades II and III may recur and/or metastasize.
Who gets MEC?
MEC can occur at any age. Women are more commonly affected than men. MEC is also the most common salivary gland malignancy in children.
What causes MEC?
The cause of MEC is unknown but may be linked to radiation exposure.
How is MEC diagnosed?
Typically these present as a lump of the parotid gland, submandibular gland, mouth or throat. A diagnosis is made after a biopsy of the affected tissue(s).
What is/is there treatment for MEC?
Currently, the standard practice is complete surgical excision. Some patients (most high grade tumors) may also undergo post-operative radiation therapy. However, almost 25% of patients develop recurrence and/or metastasis within 5 to 10 years.