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Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma : Introduction , Sign and Symptoms , Diagnosis



Cancer begins when healthy cells change and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumour means the tumor can grow but won't spread.

Adenoid cystic carcinoma (AdCC) may be a 
rare sort of adenocarcinoma, which may be a broad term describing any cancer that begins in glandular tissues. AdCC is found mainly within the head and neck, but it can occasionally occur other locations within the body, including a woman’s uterus. AdCC most ordinarily occurs within the salivary glands, which contains clusters of cells that secrete saliva scattered throughout the upper aerodigestive tract. The upper aerodigestive tract includes the organs and tissues of the upper respiratory tract, such as the lips, mouth, tongue, nose, throat, vocal cords, and part of the esophagus and windpipe. A tumor may begin in the:

Minor salivary glands


Ø  Palate — roof of the mouth

Ø  Nasopharynx — an air passageway at the upper part of the throat and behind the nose

Ø  Tongue base — the back third of the tongue

Ø  Mucosal lining of the mouth — the inner lining of the mouth; glands located here produce mucus

Ø  Larynx — the voice box

Ø  Trachea — the windpipe


Major salivary glands


Ø  Parotid — the largest salivary gland found on either side of the face in front of each ear

Ø  Submandibular — found under the jawbone

Ø  Sublingual glands — located in the bottom of the mouth under the tongue

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma: Symptoms and Signs

The initial symptoms of AdCC depend upon 
the situation of the tumor. Early lesions of the salivary glands may appear as painless, usually slow-growing masses underneath the traditional lining of the mouth or skin of the face. Because there are many salivary glands under the mucosal lining of the mouth, throat, and sinuses, lumps in these locations might be from this sort of tumor. Other symptoms may include:


Ø  A lump on the palate, under the tongue, or in the bottom of the mouth

Ø  An abnormal area on the lining of the mouth

Ø  Numbness of the upper jaw, palate, face, or tongue

Ø  Difficulty swallowing

Ø  Hoarseness

Ø  Dull pain

Ø  A bump or nodule in front of the ear or underneath the jaw

Ø  Paralysis of a facial nerve

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma: Diagnosis

Doctors use many tests to seek out 
, or diagnose, cancer. They also do tests to find out if cancer has spread to a different a part of the body from where it started. If this happens, it is called metastasis. For example, imaging tests can show if the cancer has spread. Imaging tests show pictures of the within of the body. Doctors can also do tests to find out which treatments could work best.

For most sorts of 
cancer, a biopsy is that the only sure way for the doctor to understand whether a neighborhood of the body has cancer. In a biopsy, the doctor takes alittle sample of tissue for testing during a laboratory. If a biopsy isn't possible, the doctor may suggest other tests which will help make a diagnosis.


Ø  The type of cancer suspected

Ø  Your signs and symptoms

Ø  Your age and medical condition

Ø  The results of earlier medical tests


In addition to a physical examination, the following tests may be used to diagnose AdCC:


Biopsy. A biopsy is that the 
removal of alittle amount of tissue for examination under a microscope. Other tests can suggest that cancer is present, but only a biopsy can make a particular diagnosis. A pathologist then analyzes the sample(s). A pathologist may be a doctor who focuses on interpreting laboratory tests and evaluating cells, tissues, and organs to diagnose disease. The pathology of the exocrine gland could also be complicated, even among experienced pathologists. This is why it is important that the tissue is examined by a head and neck pathologist who is experienced in diagnosing salivary disease.


Imaging tests. Imaging techniques, primarily resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scan, are useful to assist doctors see the dimensions and site of the tumor before surgery. A positron emission tomography (PET) scan may also be used to determine if the tumor has spread to other parts of the body.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI uses magnetic fields, not x-rays, to supply 
detailed images of the body. MRI are often wont to measure the tumor’s size. A special dye called a contrast material is given before the scan to make a clearer picture. This dye are often injected into a patient’s vein or given as a pill to swallow. An MRI is very useful for identifying perineural spread of AdCC. Perineural spread is growth of the tumor along nerve branches.


Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan). A CT scan creates a 3-dimensional picture of the within 
of the body using x-rays taken from different angles. A computer combines these images into an in depth , cross-sectional view that shows any abnormalities or tumors. A CT scan are often wont to measure the tumor’s size. Sometimes, a special dye called a contrast material is given before the scan to supply better detail on the image

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma: Risk Factors

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the event 
of cancer, most don't directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer.

The explanation for 
AdCC isn't known at this point , and risk factors for this sort of cancer haven't been proven consistently with research project . There is some evidence that the p53 tumor suppressor is somehow inactivated in advanced and aggressive sorts of AdCC. The p53 gene limits cell growth by monitoring the speed at which cells divide.



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