adenoid cystic carcinoma
(A-deh-noyd SIS-tik KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
- A rare type of cancer that begins in cells that line certain internal organs and make and release substances in the body, such as mucus, saliva, or other fluids. Adenoid cystic carcinoma occurs most often in the salivary glands, but it can also occur in other parts of the body, such as the voice box, windpipe, lacrimal gland (the gland that makes tears), breast, and uterus. Adenoid cystic carcinoma usually grows slowly. It tends to spread along the nerves to nearby tissue and in the blood. In rare cases, it may spread to the lymph nodes or to other parts of the body, especially the lungs.