Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue in patients over 75 years old

Ethan Soudry, Michal Preis, Roy Hod, Yaniv Hamzany, Tuvia Hadar, Gideon Bahar, Yulia Sternov, Thomas Shpitzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral tongue is one of the most frequent head and neck cancers. The over-70-year age group is the fastest growing segment of the population. Age, however, is not considered a prognostic factor in oral tongue SCC. This study investigated the clinical and histopathological characteristics, disease course, and outcome of SCC of the oral tongue in patients over 75 years old compared with younger patients. Methods: We reviewed the files of 85 patients with histologically proven SCC of the oral tongue who were treated in our department in 1992-2007 and followed for a minimum of 2 years. Findings were compared between those aged 75 years or more and younger patients. Results: Twenty-eight patients (33%) were aged 75 to 94 years (average 80.5±4.5 yrs), including 14 who were over 80 years old, and 57 patients were aged 15-74 years (average 51.1±18.2 yrs). No statistically significant differences were found between the groups in clinical or histopathological characteristics or patient outcome. The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 65% for patients over 75 and 58% for younger patients. Corresponding rates for 5-year disease-specific survival were 69% and 70%. These differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Patients over 75 with oral tongue SCC should be managed like younger patients in terms of clinical staging and co-morbidities. They should be given a chance for treatment, as their prognosis is no different from that of younger patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-235
Number of pages5
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Age
  • Elderly
  • Oral tongue
  • Squamous cell carcinoma


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