Mucoepidermoid carcinomas

Laryngeal mucoepidermoid carcinomas (MEC) are rare, only about 100 cases have been reported {1573}. They comprise one third of malignant laryngeal salivary-type tumours {1606}. They are much more common in men and most cases present between the ages of 45 and 75 years (peak incidence in the 6th decade) but cases have been reported in children {1750}. The most common site is the supraglottis {1937}. They present with progressive hoarseness and dys-phagia or dysphonia. Nearly half of the cases present with, or develop, cervical lymph node metastases {217,533}.

Tumours size is variable. Microscopically they are similar to MEC elsewhere. The behaviour tends to be unpredictable. However, it is acknowledged that a significant number of tumours originally diagnosed as high-grade MEC may have been adenosquamous carcinomas that generally have a poorer prognosis.

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