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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2003 Jul;61(7):751-8.

Outcomes of oral squamous cell carcinoma in Taiwan after surgical therapy: factors affecting survival.

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Department of Dentistry, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, School of Dentistry, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan, ROC.



The study goal was to determine which clinical features correlated with 5-year survival in patients surgically treated for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) in Taiwan.


The records of 378 OSCC patients surgically treated with or without chemotherapy and radiotherapy were reviewed retrospectively. Their 5-year survival in relation to age, gender, tumor site, lymph node involvement, presence of distant metastasis, staging, differentiation, and risk factors, including betel quid (BQ) chewing, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption, was analyzed.


The majority of the patients were men (male-to-female ratio, 5.87:1) with the mean age of 57.1 +/-11.7 years. Tumors occurred mainly at the buccal mucosa (BM) (100 of 378, 26.5%), gingiva (105 of 378, 27.8%), and tongue (103 of 378, 27.2%). Neck nodal metastasis occurred frequently at the floor of the mouth (in >60% of cases), followed by the gingiva (45.7%), buccal mucosa (34%), and tongue (20.4%), whereas early distant metastasis was rare (5.3%). There were 104 (27.5%) stage 1, 96 (25.4%) stage 2, 98 (25.9%) stage 3, and 80 (21.2%) stage 4 patients. OSCC at the BM and gingiva was most (and at the tongue least) associated with risk factors of BQ use and smoking. The 5-year survival was 75%, 65.6%, 49%, and 30% for patients with stage I, II, III, and IV, respectively. The size, nodal involvement, distant metastasis, staging, differentiation, and BQ use significantly affected the survival (P <.05, Kaplan-Meier analysis). BQ use also correlated most significantly with the younger age of occurrence of OSCC patients.


Our data suggest that early treatment is the key to increasing the survival of OSCC patients. Periodic screening of high-risk populations for OSCC represents an urgent need in Taiwan.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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