Objective: This study presents a clinicopathologic review of cases of submandibular salivary gland tumours at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria, over a period of 17 years.
Methods: The records of all patients with histological diagnosis of submandibular salivary gland tumours at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital over a period of 17 years (January 1990 to December 2006) were retrospectively reviewed. Parameters studied were; age and gender of patients, symptoms and duration of symptoms, and histological diagnosis.
Results: A total of 36 patients with submandibular gland tumours were seen during the period. Maleto- female ratio was 1.8:1 (male = 23, female = 13). Mean age (± SD) at presentation was 43 (± 19) years (age range, 17 – 84 years). There were 19 malignant tumours and 17 benign ones. Pleomorphic adenoma (36.1%) was the most frequent tumours, followed by adenoid cystic carcinoma (11.1%), anaplastic carcinoma (11.1%) and malignant lymphoma (11.1%). Patients with histological diagnosis of malignant tumours were significantly older than those with benign tumours (p = 0.01). Most patients (80.6%) presented with painless swelling.
Conclusion: Malignant submandibular salivary gland tumours were slightly more than the benign ones in the studied population. Painful swelling or ulceration is indicative of a malignant submandibular gland tumour.