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Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2016 Mar 1;21(2):e151-6.

Clinical findings and risk factors to oral squamous cell carcinoma in young patients: A 12-year retrospective analysis.

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State University of Paraiba, Dentistry Department, Rua das Baraúnas, 351, Bairro Universitário, Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brazil. CEP: 58429-500,



In recent years have been observed an increased incidence of OSCC in young individuals. Based on this, the aim this study was to describe the clinical characteristics of all cases of OSCC in younger patients, diagnosed in two oncology referral hospitals, at the northeast region of Brazil within a 12-year period.


Data regarding general characteristics of patients (age, gender and tobacco and/or alcohol habits) and information about the lesions (tumor location, size, regional lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis and clinical stage) were submitted to descriptive and inferential analysis. Statistical analysis included Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests (P<0.05).


Out of 2311 registered cases of OSCC, 76 (3.3%) corresponded to OSCC in patients under 45 years old. Most of them were male (n=62, 81.6%) and tobacco and/or alcohol users (n=40, 52.8%). The most frequent site was the tongue (n=31, 40.8%), with predominance of cases classified at advanced clinical stage (III and IV, n = 46, 60.5%). The advanced stage of OSCC (III and IV) was statistically associated with male gender (P=0.035), lower education level (P=0.007), intraoral sites (P<0.001), presence of pain symptomatology (P=0.006), and consumption of tobacco and/or alcohol (P=0.001).


The profile of OSCC in young patients resembles to the commonly characteristics reported for overall population. The late diagnosis in young patients usually results in poor prognosis, associated with gender, harmful habits and tumor location. Although prevalence is low, stimulus to prevention and to early diagnosis should be addressed to young individuals exposed to risk factors.

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