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Frequency and Histopathology by Site, Major Pathologies, Symptoms and Signs of Salivary Gland Neoplasms.

The frequency distribution of salivary gland neoplasms (SGNs) is, in decreasing order, parotid neoplasms, submandibular gland neoplasms, minor SGNs, and sublingual gland neoplasms. The larger the salivary gland (e.g. parotid), the more likely a neoplasm is benign, and the smaller the gland (e.g. minor salivary gland), the more likely the neoplasm is malignant. The majority of SGNs, benign and/or malignant, irrespective of site, present as a painless swelling or mass. Definitive symptoms and signs of salivary gland malignancy are the presence of named nerve palsy in anatomical proximity to the gland and/or the presence of cervical lymphadenopathy. All discrete major salivary gland masses and non-ulcerated submucosal masses presenting in the head and neck region, irrespective of age, should be investigated, with the aim of excluding an SGN.

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