Reminder of an important clinical lesson: Breast cancer metastasis to the parotid gland

Amisha Jakharia-Shah*, Hugh Wheatley, Matthew Beesley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A 59-year-old woman presented to an otolaryngology clinic with an 8-week history of a painless lump over her left parotid gland. Her medical history included an invasive ductal carcinoma (33 mm) and a ductal carcinoma in situ (70 mm) of the right breast, for which she had a mastectomy and various adjuvant therapies. The primary tumour presented 8 years prior to the metachronous metastasis. This patient was a non-smoker and had no significant family history. Post-superficial parotidectomy pathology revealed the parotid gland tumour to be oestrogen receptor-positive and HER2 receptor-positive, thus ruling out the initial differential diagnosis of a pleomorphic adenoma. A consequential total parotidectomy with a posterolateral neck dissection was performed with sparing of the facial nerve. The patient recovered well having only encountered a self-resolving salivary fistula. She portrayed no signs of facial nerve palsy and subsequent imaging scans showed no abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere226494
Number of pages4
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2019


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer intervention
  • Ear
  • Head and neck cancer
  • nose and throat/otolaryngology


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