Oral cavity
Squamous cell carcinoma

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 25 April 2018, last major update November 2013

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Tongue squamous cell carcinoma[TI] free full text[sb]

Cite this page: Pernick, N. Squamous cell carcinoma - tongue. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/oralcavityscctongue.html. Accessed October 19th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • 16 - 22% of intraoral squamous cell carcinomas
  • Usually lateral aspect of middle third of tongue
  • More likely to metastasize than other intraoral carcinomas (70% have metastases at presentation)
  • Spread eventually to floor of mouth and root of tongue
  • 5 year survival: 60% for anterior tongue vs. 40% for posterior tongue
  • Base of tongue tumors: 90% present at stage III / IV, often clinically silent, endophytic growth, poorly differentiated and bilateral metastases
  • Metastases: ipsilateral subdigastric, submandibular and midjugular nodes; may spread directly to lower jugular nodes
Prognostic factors
  • Poor prognostic factors: involvement of posterior third of tongue
Gross description
  • Erythroplakia or leukoplakia
Microscopic (histologic) images

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EGFR expression