Pathological Factors Affecting Outcomes in Oral Cancer

  • Eric R. CarlsonEmail author
  • J. Michael McCoy


Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity represents an intriguing diagnosis with variable outcomes over the past 50 years of recorded observation. While our understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of this disease has increased during this time, the prognosis of these cancers has demonstrated only slight improvement. To this end, many pathologic factors impacting the prognosis of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma are recognized, including grade, depth of invasion, perineural invasion, positive margins, the histologic status of the cervical lymph nodes, and the presence of human papillomavirus. It is the purpose of this chapter to discuss these prognostic indices of oral squamous cell carcinoma while reporting on the international literature that assesses the role of adjuvant therapy when adverse features are identified that impact the patient’s prognosis.


Histologic grade Depth of invasion Perineural invasion Margins Cervical lymph node metastases Extracapsular extension Human papillomavirus Bone invasion 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryUniversity of Tennessee Graduate School of MedicineKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Oral/Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery Fellowship ProgramUniversity of Tennessee Cancer InstituteKnoxvilleUSA
  3. 3.Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryUniversity of Tennessee Graduate School of MedicineKnoxvilleUSA
  4. 4.Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryUniversity of Tennessee Graduate School of MedicineKnoxvilleUSA
  5. 5.Department of PathologyUniversity of Tennessee Graduate School of MedicineKnoxvilleUSA
  6. 6.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Tennessee Graduate School of MedicineKnoxvilleUSA

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