Women and Squamous Cell Carcinomas of the Oral Cavity and Oropharynx: Is There Something New?

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2009 Sep;67(9):1914-20. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2009.04.031.


Purpose: Incidence of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral cavity and oropharynx is increasing in French female patients. The objective of this study was to study the clinical and demographic characteristics and the prognosis of this female population. Secondary outcomes were to determine if a subgroup of patient had a different prognosis.

Materials and methods: A prospective study from 1989 to 2002 of all female patients presenting SCC of the upper aerodogestive tract was conducted. Data for 171 women were extracted. Clinical and histological features were analyzed using chi(2) and log-rank tests along with the Kaplan Meier method and multivariate analysis using the Cox regression procedure.

Results: Mean patient age was 62 years. Of the study population, 48.5% used tobacco and 34.5% used alcohol. The relative risk of death for overall and cancer-specific survival increased for patients below the age of 45 or over the age of 70 (95% Cl; 0.3-1.05; P = .0085). Tobacco consumption decreased cancer-specific and overall survival (P = .0008 and .0001, respectively). The other prognostic factors we found were tumor and nodal status, previous or simultaneous cancer, oral cavity primary site.

Conclusions: Prognosis of oropharyngeal and oral squamous cell carcinomas is less favorable in females who smoke as well as in younger and older women. With these patients, the oversight must be closer. Smoking, however, should be stopped.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / etiology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Women's Health*
  • Young Adult