Purpose: The association between tobacco smoking and oral squamous cell carcinoma is well established. However, few studies have evaluated the smoking history based on a smoking versus never-smoking history or analyzed the relationship between smoking history and site and stage of presentation. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between smoking versus never-smoking history and the stage and site of presentation of oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Patients and methods: The design of this study was a retrospective review of all patients presented at the Legacy Emanuel Hospital Head and Neck Tumor Board in Portland, Oregon, with a biopsy-proven oral squamous cell carcinoma between 1998 and 2000. Data collected included age, gender, smoking history (smoker versus never smoker), pack-years of tobacco, site, and stage (T, N, and group stage) at presentation.
Results: A total of 67 patients were reviewed; 33% of patients were never smokers and 67% of patients had a history of smoking with an average of 49.4 pack-years. The floor of mouth and gingiva were the most commonly affected sites. There was a statistically significant difference between site of presentation and a history of smoking (P =.0007). The 2 sites that showed a significant association with smoking were posterolateral tongue and floor of mouth.
Conclusions: The findings of this study demonstrate that approximately one third of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma will report that they have never smoked. There was a strong association between a history of smoking and carcinoma involving the posterolateral tongue and floor of mouth.