Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue: Distinct epidemiological profile disease

Eyal Yosefof, Ohad Hilly, Sagit Stern, Gideon Bachar, Thomas Shpitzer, Aviram Mizrachi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) occurs in different subsites within the oral cavity. Our goal was to investigate the epidemiological features of OSCC with relation to age and subsite. Methods: Retrospective review of all patients treated for OSCC in a tertiary care center between 2000 and 2018. Results: A total of 360 patients were included. Five age groups were defined: 0 to 30, 31 to 45, 46 to 60, 61 to 75, and 76+. In the 0 to 30 and 31 to 45 groups, 94.6% of tumors originated in the oral tongue compared to 87%, 66%, and 61% in the 46 to 60, 61 to 75, and 76+ groups, respectively (P <.001). A higher proportion of oral tongue SCC (OTSCC) was found in nonsmokers (76% vs 62%, P =.02). In nonsmokers aged 0 to 60, 97.9% had OTSCC compared to 67.5% in the 61+ groups (P <.001). Conclusions: OSCC in young nonsmokers originates primarily in the tongue. The etiology of OTSCC in young patients may be different than other OSCC subsites and not related to smoking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2316-2320
Number of pages5
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • epidemiological profile
  • oral cavity cancer
  • oral tongue cancer
  • risk factors
  • young patients


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