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J Clin Oncol. 2011 Apr 10;29(11):1488-94. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2010.31.7883. Epub 2011 Mar 7.

Increasing incidence of oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma in young white women, age 18 to 44 years.

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School of Public Health and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.



To evaluate the incidence of oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) and oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC) in young white women, age 18 to 44 years.


We analyzed incidence and survival data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute from 1975 to 2007 for OCSCC and OTSCC. Three cohorts were examined: all ages, age 18 to 44 years (ie, "young"), and age > 44 years. Individuals were stratified by sex and/or race. Percentage change (PC) and annual percentage change (APC) were calculated. Joinpoint regression analyses were performed to examine trend differences.


Overall, incidence of OCSCC was decreasing for all ages. However, incidence was increasing for young white women (PC, 34.8; APC, 2.2; P < .05). Incidence of OTSCC was decreasing for all ages except in the age 18 to 44 years group (PC, 28.8; APC, 1.8; P < .05). Young white individuals had increasing incidence trends of OTSCC (white women: PC, 111.3; APC, 4; P < .05; young white men: PC, 43.7; APC, 1.6; P < .05). The APC of OTSCC was significantly greater in young white women compared with that in young white men (P = .007). Furthermore, incidence of SCC in all other subsites of the oral cavity was decreasing. Nonwhites had a decreasing incidence of OCSCC and OTSCC. Cause-specific survival was similar among whites age 18 to 44 and individuals older than age 44 years.


OTSCC is increasing among young white individuals age 18 to 44 years, particularly among white women. Young white women may be a new, emerging head and neck cancer patient population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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