Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma is diagnosed in about 1,200 new cases each year and afflicts about 10,000 patients in the United States. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this type of cancer in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Adenoid cystic carcinoma is a rare form of adenocarcinoma, which is a broad term describing any cancer that begins in glandular tissues. It occurs most commonly in the salivary glands.

This cancers progression is typically gradual and sometimes relentless. The disease has a tendency to grow along nerves and metastasize to the lungs. It often afflicts young and middle-aged patients. The median age at diagnosis for ACC patients is a decade younger than for all cancer patients.

Symptoms can include:

A lump under the tongue or in the bottom of the mouth

Numbness of the upper jaw, palate, face or tongue

Difficulty swallowing


Dull pain

A bump or nodule in front of the ear or underneath the jaw, and

Paralysis of a facial nerve

Treatment may include surgery, radiation, systemic therapy or a combination of the three. Relieving symptoms and side effects is also an important part of treatment. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience or a change in symptoms.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.