Descriptive study of 896 Oral squamous cell carcinomas from the only University based Oral Pathology Diagnostic Service in Sri Lanka

BMC Oral Health. 2016 Jan 8:16:1. doi: 10.1186/s12903-015-0139-y.


Background: The main objective of this study was to describe selected clinico-pathological characteristics of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) in Sri-Lanka.

Materials & methods: The study sample comprised of eight hundred and ninety six biopsies diagnosed as OSCC. The clinical and histopathological features were analyzed using the Chi-square test.

Results: Of the 896 biopsies, 801 were primary OSCCs, while 95 were recurrent OSCCs. Majority of the patients (78 %) were in the 5(th) to 7(th) decades of life and showed a male predilection. The buccal mucosa was the commonest site of primary OSCC comprising of 43 % of the sample. Of the primary OSCCs, with known TNM stage, 86 % were in stage 3&4 and majority (59 %) of stage 4 tumours showed tumour at one or more excision margins. Of the recurrent OSCC, 46 % developed their recurrences within one year of the excision of the primary tumour.

Conclusion: In Sri-Lanka, OSCC is a major problem. Only half the patients had completely excised tumours (with clearance of >5 mm at all excision margins) at operation, and recurrences appeared early. This data should be considered in the future management policy of OSCC in Sri-Lanka.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Diagnostic Services
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Pathology, Oral
  • Sri Lanka
  • Universities