DISEASES affecting the parotid gland are many and varied. Primary neoplasms of the parotid comprise 0.5% to 2.0% of all tumors afflicting man.1 Metastatic deposits in the parotid gland are not uncommon and some inflammatory and collagen diseases may affect the parotid gland as well. On occasion, findings such as unusual firmness or seventh nerve involvement may strongly suggest that a parotid mass is carcinoma. But on clinical examination alone, it is rarely possible to predict the histology with any degree of certainty.
Treatment of malignant parotid tumors remains controversial. In each instance the surgeon must decide whether to perform superficial or total parotidectomy; whether to preserve or sacrifice the facial nerve, and whether a radical neck dissection is required. Although the size and location of the tumor most strongly influence these decisions, there are instances when the operation is selected on the basis of histological diagnosis.
Kolson H, Aslam P. Accuracy and Value of Needle Biopsy of the Parotid Gland. Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;87(5):501–505. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00760060503011
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