Clinicopathological Difference Between Gingivobuccal and Oral Tongue Cancers: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study from a Tertiary Healthcare Centre in Northern India

Kinjal Shankar Majumdar, Rajkumar Kottayasamy Seenivasagam, Dungala Dileep Maharaj, Avijit Mandol, Ashok Singh, Satyaprakash Agarwal, Dharma Ram Poonia, Abhinav Thaduri, Achyuth Panuganti, Vikramjit Singh Kailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gingivobuccal and oral tongue squamous cell carcinomas are commonly considered together as a single clinical entity for staging and treatment purposes. Though there is data suggesting a significant difference between SCC of various oral cavity subsites, very few studies have compared clinicopathological characteristics between the tongue and gingivobuccal primaries. We retrospectively analysed 225 patients with biopsy-proven gingivobuccal (GB) and oral tongue (OT) SCC operated between April 1, 2018 and April 30, 2021 in All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, India to compare their clinicopathological characteristics. Demographic, clinical and histopathological data were collected from electronic medical records. An independent sample t-test was used to compare means and Pearson chi-square test or Fisher exact test was applied to compare the distribution of categorical variables. A relative male preponderance (12:1 vs. 5:1, p = 0.036) and increased smokeless tobacco consumption (82% Vs. 69%, p = 0.003) was seen in GB-SCC. Significantly higher proportion of patients with OT-SCC presented with early primaries (T1/T2) (54.1% vs. 24.8%, p < 0.001). Similarly, a higher proportion of GB-SCC patients presented with palpable neck nodes (cN +) (81% Vs. 67%, p = 0.02). Due to early primary tumours at presentation, stage I/II disease was also significantly higher in cases of OT-SCC (36.5% Vs.13.7%, p < 0.001). No difference was noticed in age at presentation, neck node status, and other clinicopathological parameters. GB-SCC has a higher male preponderance than OT-SCC due to relatively higher consumption of smokeless tobacco in males. Oral tongue cancers presented at an earlier stage than gingivobuccal malignancies. No difference in neck node status, however, suggests a relatively aggressive disease behaviour and early regional metastasis in tongue cancers. Follow up data regarding recurrence and survival is required to further characterise the differences between these two common OSCC subsites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6262-6267
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 12-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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