Salivary gland tumours in Iceland 1986–2015: a nationwide epidemiological analysis over a 30-year time period

Anna Lilja Ægisdottir, Geir Tryggvason, Anna Margrét Jónsdóttir, Jón Gunnlaugur Jónasson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Salivary gland tumours (SGT) are a vast and heterogenous group of neoplasms. There is a relative lack of comprehensive nationwide epidemiological studies on the subject. The aim of this nationwide analysis was to gain insight into epidemiological traits, such as site, incidence and histological subtypes of SGT in general. Patients diagnosed with a primary SGT between 1986 and 2015 were identified from The Icelandic Cancer Registry and registries from all pathology departments in Iceland. Information on age, sex, tumour location and histology was retrieved from pathology reports. A total of 687 patients were diagnosed with a SGT, 609 (89%) were benign and 78 (11%) malignant. 9% of parotid gland tumours, 22% of submandibular gland tumours and 26% of minor SGT were malignant. The most common malignant tumours were mucoepidermoid carcinoma, acinic cell carcinoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma. The incidence of benign SGT was 4.9 per 100 000 among men and 7.0 per 100 000 among women. The incidence of malignant tumours was 0.59 per 100 000 for men and 0.79 per 100 000 for women. The proportion of malignant SGT is lower than most often reported. Only 10% of parotid gland tumours, 20% of submandibular gland tumours and 25% of minor salivary gland tumours are malignant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Other keywords

  • epidemiology
  • histology
  • oncology
  • Salivary gland
  • tumour
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Parotid Gland/pathology
  • Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid/epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Young Adult
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Acinar Cell/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Registries
  • Child
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic/epidemiology
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms/epidemiology
  • Salivary Glands, Minor/pathology
  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Iceland/epidemiology
  • Submandibular Gland/pathology


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