Tobacco smoking history and presentation of oral squamous cell carcinoma

Brian L. Schmidt, Eric J. Dierks, Louis Homer, Bryce Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose The association between tobacco smoking and oral squamous cell carcinoma is well established. However, few studies have evaluated the smoking history based on a smoking versus never-smoking history or analyzed the relationship between smoking history and site and stage of presentation. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between smoking versus never-smoking history and the stage and site of presentation of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Patients and methods The design of this study was a retrospective review of all patients presented at the Legacy Emanuel Hospital Head and Neck Tumor Board in Portland, Oregon, with a biopsy-proven oral squamous cell carcinoma between 1998 and 2000. Data collected included age, gender, smoking history (smoker versus never smoker), pack-years of tobacco, site, and stage (T, N, and group stage) at presentation. Results A total of 67 patients were reviewed; 33% of patients were never smokers and 67% of patients had a history of smoking with an average of 49.4 pack-years. The floor of mouth and gingiva were the most commonly affected sites. There was a statistically significant difference between site of presentation and a history of smoking (P = .0007). The 2 sites that showed a significant association with smoking were posterolateral tongue and floor of mouth. Conclusions The findings of this study demonstrate that approximately one third of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma will report that they have never smoked. There was a strong association between a history of smoking and carcinoma involving the posterolateral tongue and floor of mouth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1055-1058
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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