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Am J Surg. 1983 Jul;146(1):88-92.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue and lower oral cavity in patients under 40 years of age.


Squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue and lower oral cavity is uncommon in patients under the age of 40 years. The site distribution and male to female ratio of patients differed markedly from those of the overall squamous cell carcinoma group. The tongue was by far the most common site, and the majority of patients were women. There were no apparent etiologic or biologic factors noted. Lymph node metastases occurred in 38 percent of our patients and were present in six of seven tumor-related deaths. Those patients who died usually had a poor response to initial treatment, and most were dead within less than 2 years after diagnosis. The overall cure rate in our study patients was much better than that for the overall group of patients, and this was especially so in patients with tongue cancer (80 percent absolute cure rate). Aggressive treatment and careful follow-up for recurrence or metastases are necessary.

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