Oral squamous cell carcinoma in patients less than 40 years in a Nigerian population
Objectives: Oral cancer ranks amongst the sixth to eight most common cancers worldwide and exhibits a great variation in incidence among countries. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is rare in individuals less than 40 years of age, with occurrences averaging 4 to 6% in people less than 40 years. The aim of this study was to review the clinical and pathological characteristics of OSCC cases in patients less than 40 years of age in five tertiary health facilities in Nigeria.
Methods:All OSCC in the period from 1970 to 2015 from case file records and biopsy reports were retrieved from the records of the five teaching hospitals, to obtain age, gender, location and histologic grades.
Results: Ninety-seven (17.4%) cases of OSCC were diagnosed in patients less than 40 years of age. These included 58 males and 38 females giving a male: female ratio of 1.5:1. The mandibular mucosa with 27 (28.7%) cases was the most common site followed by the maxillary mucosa with 24 (25.5%) and palate with 14 (14.4%) cases. Only 5 (5.3 %) cases of OSCC occurred in the tongue. The well differentiated OSCC was the most common histological grade accounting for 48 (50.0 %) cases while the moderately differentiated and poorly differentiated OSCC accounted for 31 (32.3 %) and 17 (17.7 %) cases respectively.
Conclusion: OSCC was relatively more common in patients less than 40 years of age in this study than those of previous studies from other regions and OSCC in patients less than 40 years of age was relatively rare in the tongue when compared with similar cohorts from other continents.
Key words: oral squamous cell carcinoma; age less than 40; tongue; mandibular mucosa, Nigeria