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Disease Profile

Mucoepidermoid carcinoma

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)



Rare Cancers


Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is a type of cancer of the salivary glands. Salivary gland cancer is diagnosed in 2-3 individuals per 100,000 people each year, and 30-35% of these are mucoepidermoid carcinomas.[1][2] Mucoepidermoid carcinoma develops when a cell randomly acquires changes (mutations) in genes that regulate how the cell divides such that it begins to grow quickly, forming a cluster of cells (a mass or lump).[1] The earliest signs of a mucoepidermoid carcinoma may include a lump in the face, neck, or mouth; numbness, weakness, or pain in part of the face; or difficulty swallowing. Treatment often begins with surgery to remove the entire tumor. In some cases, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy may be used after surgery to ensure that no cancer cells remain in the body.[2]

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

In-Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.


  1. Chandana SR, Conley BA. Salivary gland cancers: current treatments, molecular characteristics and new therapies.. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy. 2008; 8:645-652. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18402531. Accessed 8/3/2011.
  2. American Cancer Society. Salviary Gland Cancer. Learn About Cancer. 2011; https://www.cancer.org/Cancer/SalivaryGlandCancer/DetailedGuide/salivary-gland-cancer-what-is-salivary-gland-cancer. Accessed 8/3/2011.