Squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue in young patients: A matched-pair analysis

Paul L. Friedlander, Stimson P. Schantz, Ashok R. Shaha, Gopei Yu, Jatin P. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Background. Tongue cancer is seen with increasing frequency in young individuals. There is controversy concerning the clinical course and outcome for oral tongue cancer in young patients. Methods. A retrospective review of 36 patients under 40 years of age with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue was performed. These patients were matched to an older populations. The 5- year disease-free survival; rates of local, regional, and distant failure; and rate of second primary tumor were determined for both populations. Results. The 5-year disease-free survival for the young patients was 62% versus in the older population (p = .30). Ten of 36 (28%) of younger patients recurred locally versus five of 36 (14%) of the older patients (p = .11). Nine of 36 (25%) younger patients recurred regionally in the younger group versus six of 36 (17%) patients in the older group (p = .25). Sixteen of 36 (44%) of the younger patients had locoregional failure versus eight of 36 (22%) of the older patients (p < .05). The rates of metastatic disease and second primary lesions were similar in both populations. Conclusions. In this series, younger patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue had a rate of locoregional recurrence rate than did older patients. This did not translate into a survival difference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Survival
  • Tongue cancer
  • Young patients


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