Acinic Cell Carcinoma

Parotid surgery via a facelift incision. The scars are hidden in the hairline and skin creases with steroid injections used to reduce the incidence of keloid scar formation.

Overview

Acinic cell carcinomas are a rare type of cancer which affect the salivary glands.

It is more often seen in women than in men and is considered to be low-grade. It constitutes between 5 and 17% of cases involving salivary malignancies. The tumour may present as a slow growing lump which is commonly identified in younger patients.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

An incidental smooth lump in the region of the parotid gland is the most common symptom. Often this will require find a needle aspiration cytology for diagnosis. Imaging in the form of MRI scanning helps to determine the extent of the spread of the tumour and treatment which will very much depend on the tumour stage.

The definitive diagnosis will be determined after surgery following which the pathologist will be able to demonstrate the four patterns which include microcystic, follicular, solid, and papillary cystic

Treatment

Surgical removal with clear margins is the treatment of choice. Some patients may require require adjuvant radiotherapy depending on stage. New chemotherapeutic options based on the TRK pathway are currently being tested.