Adenoid cystic cancer (ACC) is a rare form of adenocarcinoma, which is cancer that begins in glandular tissues. ACC most commonly arises in the head and neck, in various parts of the major and minor salivary glands including the palate, nasopharynx, lining of the mouth, voice box (larynx) or windpipe (trachea). It can also occur in the breast, uterus, or other locations in the body. Early symptoms include lumps under the lining of the mouth or facial skin; numbness in the mouth or face; difficulty swallowing; hoarseness; pain; or paralysis of a facial nerve. ACC often has long periods with no growth followed by growth spurts; however, it can be aggressive in some people. ACC spreads along nerves or through the bloodstream, and only spreads to the lymph nodes in about 5-10% of cases. The cause of ACC is currently unknown. Treatment depends on many factors and may include surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy.


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