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Pattern of occurrence of salivary gland tumours at the University of Nairobi Dental Hospital.

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SUMMARY

A retrospective cross-sectional study was caried out between May and June 2000. The objective was to determine the pattern of occurrence of salivary gland tumours at the University of Nairobi Dental Hospital over a ten-year period.

Histopathological records were manually accessed and examined to extract relevant information including age, sex, site and histologic type of salivary gland tumour. A self designed data collection form was used to record data.

Eighty-three cases of salivary gland tumours were examined comprising 50 females and 33 males, with an age range of 7 to 99 years. The commonest site for salivary gland tumours was the palate (55%). Others were the parotid glands (20.5%), minor salivary glands (10.8%) and sub-mandibular gland (8.4%).

Pleomorphic salivary adenoma was the commonest tumour (39.7%), followed by adenoid cystic carcinoma (36.1%), muco-epidermoid tumour (7.2%), adenocarcinoma (9.6%). Other tumours were rare. There was a female preponderance of salivary gland tumours with a male to female ratio of 1:1.5.

This study was generally in agreement with similar studies done previously.

However, in contrast to other studies, the palate was the commonest site involved with salivary gland tumours. There appears to be a variation in site of occurrence of salivary gland tumours between African and Western Studies.

More studies need to be done to determine the cause of the high frequency of palatal tumours in African populations.

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