, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 51-55
Date: 31 Oct 2010

Oral cancer in men and women: are there differences?

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Because female user habits for tobacco and alcohol are changing and the female incidence of oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) has increased, the aim of the study was to evaluate the possible differences between male and female patients suffering from oral SCC.

Patients and methods

The files of 159 male and 119 female patients with oral SCC, who were treated between 1999 and 2008 with a minimum follow-up time of 12 months, were evaluated retrospectively. Special attention was paid to tobacco and alcohol use, TN status, recurrence, and metastases rate, as well as to patients without the mentioned risk factors.


A higher female median age (65.36 vs. 61.04 years) and female predominance was found in the group of patients older than 70 years, with a gender distribution of 53:46. Out of 23 female patients with oral maxillary SCC, 15 (65%) were without the risk factors of tobacco and alcohol, and from the 16 male patients suffering from oral maxillary carcinoma, only three (19%) were without the mentioned risk factors.


In summary, compared to earlier studies, there was a higher proportion of females in (1) the group without the risk factors of tobacco and alcohol, (2) those with SCC of the hard plate and maxillary alveolus, and (3) in patients older than 70 years. There are fewer differences between metastases and recurrence rates. Further studies should be performed in female patients without risk factors and in maxillary cancer with emphasis on the human papilloma virus and infiltration rates.