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Lacrimal gland tumours

Most cancerous tumours of the lacrimal gland are carcinomas that begin in the epithelial cellsepithelial cellsA specialized cell that makes up the epithelium (a layer of cells that lines the body’s hollow organs and glands and makes up the outer layer of the skin). Some epithelial cells produce mucus or other secretions.. About one-half of all epithelial tumours of the lacrimal gland are cancerous (malignant), the rest are benign.

Cancer of the lacrimal gland is quite rare. It accounts for about 2% of all orbital cancers.

  • Adenoid cystic carcinomas are the most common cancer of the lacrimal gland, accounting for about 30%–50% of all lacrimal gland cancers.
  • Other types of malignant tumours of the lacrimal gland include:
    • carcinoma ex-pleomorphic adenoma
      • A malignant pleomorphic adenoma can start from a benign tumour that isn’t completely removed by surgery.
    • adenocarcinoma
      • Adenocarcinomas of the lacrimal gland are very uncommon. They typically occur in people in their 50s.
    • mucoepidermoid carcinoma
      • Mucoepidermoid carcinomas tend to start in the ducts of the lacrimal gland. These tumours are rare.
    • lymphoma

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