Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the parotid gland: A rare presentation in a young child
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Although mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) is the most common malignant salivary gland neoplasm in childhood and adolescence, it is rarely found in children under the age of 10. A 6-year-old girl had an asymptomatic neck mass for 5 months. Clinical examination findings showed a 1.5-cm smooth and firm but mobile nontender mass located in the upper left anterior cervical triangle, clinically separate from the parotid gland. Ultrasound examination findings showed a vascular mass, with a cystic component, possibly within the tail of the parotid gland. An excisional biopsy was performed and frozen section showed a low-grade MEC. A left superficial parotidectomy was then performed. Final histopathologic examination showed one positive resection margin. Subsequently, reexcision of the surgical site and an upper modified neck dissection was undertaken. This unusual presentation of MEC as a neck mass in one of the youngest reported patients illustrates that the anatomic region for parotid tumors is large. Possibly some of these tumors may arise from heterotopic or accessory parotid tissue.
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