Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oral Tongue in Young Patients

Aron Popovtzer*, Thomas Shpitzer, Gideon Bahar, Gideon Marshak, David Ulanovski, Raphael Feinmesser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives/Hypothesis: Cancer of the tongue is reported with increasing frequency in young people. The objective of this work was to study the biologic and clinical course of the disease in this group. The clinical course of the disease in this patient group remains controversial. Study Design: A retrospective 30-year review was made from data from a tertiary academic medical center. Methods: A chart review was performed for 48 patients with oral tongue cancer. The following variables were compared: age, sex, tobacco and alcohol use, treatment, and outcome. Results: Stage (T1,2-N 0) and treatment modality were similar in the two age groups, as was disease-specific outcome. However, in the younger group, the clinical course followed two distinct patterns: extremely aggressive appearance with a 40% mortality rate within 2 years compared with 10.7% in the older group (P < .05) or indolent with freedom from disease for over 15 years. Conclusions: Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral tongue may be associated with a variable clinical course in younger patients. Although, in general, the disease-specific outcome is similar to that of the older patients, some of the patients have an exceptionally aggressive disease. An extensive therapeutic regimen should be used in all cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-917
Number of pages3
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Oral tongue
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Young patients


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