To review the literature on reported cases of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral cavity in patients twenty-years-of-age
All well-documented cases of oral SCC in patients twenty-years-of-age or less, published between 1936
and 2012, were collected and the clinicopathologic features were evaluated. Primary cases of oral SCC were selected. Age,
gender, intra-oral subsite were recorded.
A total of 88 articles describing 186 cases were included. The group of
otherwise healthy patients had a mean age of 14.08 years (range newborn-20 years), the m:f ratio was 1.36; the oral subsites
were the tongue, gingiva, and lower lip. A second group of patients who have disorders that predispose to cancer development,
such as xeroderma pigmentosum, Fanconi’s anemia, and a history of bone marrow transplant, had a mean age of 13.17 years (range
5-20 years); the m:f ratio was 1.23; the oral subsite was mainly the tongue. There was a slight difference between otherwise
healthy patients and patients with predisposing systemic factors, but this difference was not statistically significant.
contrast to adults, there is only a weak predilection for males (m:f ratio of 1.23-1.36). In the young population SCC occurs
most frequently in the tongue, followed by gingiva and lips. Unlike in adults, SCC is very uncommon in the floor of mouth.
SCC may, indeed, occur in patients younger than 20 years and clinicians should take cognizance of this. Periodical examination
of the oral cavity of young patients is recommended in cases of systemic diseases that predispose to cancer development such
as xeroderma pigmentosum, Fanconi’s anemia, and a history of bone marrow transplant.