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Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Head and Neck Cancers

Table 2. Thyroid Carcinomas in Children continued...


Treatment of benign oral tumors is surgical. Management of malignant tumors is dependent on histology and may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.[120] Langerhans cell histiocytosis may require other treatment besides surgery. (Refer to the PDQ summaries on adult Oropharyngeal Cancer Treatment; Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer Treatment; and Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Treatment for more information.)

Most reported cases of SCC managed with surgery alone have done well without recurrence.[110,121]

Salivary Gland Tumors


Salivary gland tumors are rare and account for 0.5% of all malignancies in children and adolescents.[122] Most salivary gland neoplasms arise in the parotid gland.[123,124,125,126,127,128] About 15% of these tumors may arise in the submandibular glands or in the minor salivary glands under the tongue and jaw. These tumors are most frequently benign but may be malignant, especially in young children.[129] Overall 5-year survival in the pediatric age group is approximately 95%.[130]


The most common malignant lesion is mucoepidermoid carcinoma.[122,131,132] Less common malignancies include acinic cell carcinoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, adenocarcinoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma, and undifferentiated carcinoma. These tumors may occur after radiation therapy and chemotherapy are given for treatment of primary leukemia or solid tumors.[133,134] Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the most common type of treatment-related salivary gland tumor, and with standard therapy, the 5-year survival is about 95%.[135,136]


Radical surgical removal is the treatment of choice for salivary gland tumors whenever possible, with additional use of radiation therapy and chemotherapy for high-grade tumors or tumors that have spread from their site of origin.[130,132,137,138]

(Refer to the PDQ summary on adult Salivary Gland Cancer Treatment for more information.)


Sialoblastoma is a usually benign tumor presenting in the neonatal period and rarely metastasizes.[139] Chemotherapy regimens with carboplatin, epirubicin, vincristine, etoposide, dactinomycin, doxorubicin, and ifosfamide have produced responses in two children with sialoblastoma.[140]; [141][Level of evidence: 3iiiDiv]

Laryngeal Cancer and Papillomatosis

Tumors of the larynx are rare. The most common benign tumor is subglottic hemangioma.[142] Malignant tumors, which are especially rare, may be associated with benign tumors such as polyps and papillomas.[143,144] These tumors may cause hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and enlargement of the lymph nodes of the neck.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common malignant tumor of the larynx in the pediatric age group and is usually managed with chemotherapy and radiation therapy following biopsy, rather than laryngectomy.[145] SCC of the larynx should be managed in the same manner as in adults with carcinoma at this site, with surgery and radiation.[146] Laser surgery may be the first type of treatment utilized for these lesions.

Papillomatosis of the larynx is a benign overgrowth of tissues lining the larynx and is associated with the HPV, most commonly HPV-6 and HPV-11.[147] The presence of HPV-11 appears to correlate with a more aggressive clinical course than HPV-6.[148] These tumors can cause hoarseness because of their association with wart-like nodules on the vocal cords and may rarely extend into the lung, producing significant morbidity.[149] Malignant degeneration may occur with development of cancer in the larynx and squamous cell lung cancer.


WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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