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J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2018 May-Aug;22(2):180-187. doi: 10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_16_18.

Clinicopathological analysis of oral squamous cell carcinoma among the younger age group in coastal Karnataka, India: A retrospective study.

Author information

Department of Oral Pathology, Yenepoya Dental College, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
Department of Oncology, Yenepoya Hospital, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
Center for Systems Biology and Molecular Medicine, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
Department of Community Medicine and Yenepoya Research Centre, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India.



Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) primarily occurs in older age group. However, in the recent years, incidence of oral cancer in young people has been on rise worldwide. Towards this end, we sought to analyze the clinical and histopathological characteristics of OSCC in patients less than 45 years of age.

Materials and Methods:

The clinical and histological features of patients diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity at two hospitals in the coastal Karnataka region of South India between 1996-2012 were reviewed. The tabulation and descriptive statistics of the study were carried out.


A total of 420 patients were treated for OSCC in the 17-year period (1996-2012), of which 86 (20.5 %) patients were under 45 years of age. The most common site of involvement among the young was tongue (29.07%) and buccal mucosa (27.9%) respectively. A total of 47 (54.65%) patients were either habitual chewers, smokers, or alcoholics. Pathological grading of cases classified tumors into well differentiated (34.88%), moderately differentiated (46.51%) and poorly differentiated (4.65%).


The data from this study reveals that a significant proportion of the OSCC cases are observed in patients of 45 years or younger. Additionally, our study also indicated an increase in the usage of tobacco and pan chewing in young adults in comparison to older individuals in the two hospitals of South India. The data obtained from this analysis emphasizes the need for screening programs that are tailor-made for individuals at high risk of developing oral cancer and warrants tobacco awareness programs in the community.


Areca nut; health policy; oral cancer; smoking; tobacco; young adults

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