Risk Factors of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

Executive Summary:

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC) is a malignant form of cancer that majorly affects the salivary gland. The population of older adults and females are more prone to developing ACC. As Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma is a rare form of carcinoma, significantly less data is available regarding the tumor and the predisposing risk factors. One of the studied risk factors involves the inactivation of the p53 tumor suppressor gene in patients diagnosed with an advanced form of ACC. It affects other body parts such as the hard palate, tongue, nasopharynx, lacrimal glands, or the external auditory canal. It also affects the reproductive tract, breast, trachea or skin. Patients with solid tumor subtype, positive lymph nodes, and age are at a larger risk of getting ACC.

A rare and malignant form of cancer

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC) is a rare and malignant form of cancer. It develops in the secretory glands of the body. It occurs mainly in the salivary glands. ACC accounts for about 1% of all malignancies in the neck and head region. When considering the range of salivary glands’ tumors, adenoid cystic carcinoma is responsible for causing about 10% of them. ACC is the most common tumor affecting the minor salivary glands and the second most common tumor affecting the major salivary glands. 

It is a slow-growing carcinoma when compared to other cancer types. It tends to perennial invasion and metastasis to distant body parts. Older adults are at the highest risk of contracting this cancer condition.

Risk Factors of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

Talking about Risk Factors of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, risk factors refer to those factors which increase a person’s chance or probability of developing a tumor or cancer. In most cases, risk factors influence the growth and proliferation of cancer, but they cannot be termed as causing the particular tumor. Sometimes people with no risk are diagnosed with cancer, while others at high chances never get affected. It is always essential to know and keep track of the factors that can risk your health and well-being. Communicate the aspects with your doctor and help yourself make more informed health care and lifestyle choices.

Common in female than male

Since Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma is a rare form of carcinoma, only very little data is available regarding the tumor and its risk factors. No scientific research has identified the risk factors associated with ACC. Some studies have observed that a specific gene called the p53 tumor suppressor gene somehow remains inactive in people diagnosed with an advanced form of adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) ​1​. The function of this p53 gene is to monitor the rate of cell division and limit the growth of cells. Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC) is a malignant form of cancer that majorly affects the salivary gland. The population of older adults are more prone to develop ACC. Also, the female population are more at risk to develop ACC when compared to male.

One of the studied risk factors involves the inactivation of the p53 tumor suppressor gene in patients diagnosed with an advanced form of ACC. The other body parts such as the hard palate, tongue, nasopharynx, lacrimal glands, or the external auditory canal are affected by ACC. The reproductive tract, breast, trachea or skin are also affected by the development of ACC. Patients with solid tumor subtype, positive lymph nodes, and age are considered to be the risk factors for the development of ACC ​2​.

Conclusion

Some studies show that women are at a higher risk of contracting ACC than men (60% women and 40% men). The tumor is very aggressive and can affect areas other than the secretory glands. ACC can develop in other spots like the hard palate, tongue, nasopharynx, lacrimal glands, or the external auditory canal. It can also spread or metastasize to other parts of the body. Besides the head and neck region, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC) can also arise in the glands present in the reproductive tract, breast, trachea or the skin.

References

  1. 1.
    Ouyang D qiao, Liang L zhong, Zheng G sen, et al. Risk factors and prognosis for salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma in southern china. Medicine. Published online February 2017:e5964. doi:10.1097/md.0000000000005964
  2. 2.
    Bhayani MK, Yener M, El-Naggar A, et al. Prognosis and risk factors for early-stage adenoid cystic carcinoma of the major salivary glands. Cancer. Published online October 21, 2011:2872-2878. doi:10.1002/cncr.26549