Staging of carcinomas of the major salivary glands is based on tumour size, local extension of tumour, metastasis to regional nodes, and distant metastases (see TNM classification). Recent changes in the staging system include a revision in the definition of T3 and the division of T4 into tumours that are resectable (T4a) and unresectable (T4b) {947,2418}. According to TNM rules, tumours arising in minor salivary glands are classified according to the criteria for other carcinomas at their anatomic site of origin, e.g., oral cavity. Spiro and co-workers have successfully applied the criteria used for squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, and sinus to mucoepidermoid carcinoma {2305,2863}.

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