• Buccal;
  • squamous cell carcinoma;
  • treatment;
  • outcome;
  • Level of Evidence: 2b



The objective of this study was to analyze the patterns of failure and to determine clinical and pathologic factors predictive of recurrence and survival of patients treated for squamous cell carcinoma of the buccal mucosa at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Study Design:

Retrospective chart review.


A retrospective chart review of patients treated for buccal carcinoma between 1994 and 2004 was performed. Seventy patients with newly diagnosed and previously untreated squamous cell carcinoma of the buccal mucosa were included. Demographic, clinical, and pathological parameters were identified and correlated with outcomes.


The patient cohort consisted of 33 males and 37 females. Most patients presented with early-stage local disease (T1-T2). Surgery was the primary treatment in 61 patients. Twenty-three patients were treated with postoperative radiotherapy. Median follow-up was 3.3 years. The 5-year local, regional, and overall control rates were 57.5%, 83.5%, and 50%, respectively. The 5-year overall survival rate was 69%. The 5-year disease-specific and recurrence-free survival rates were 76.4% and 46%, respectively. The only significant predictors of survival were the nodal status and extranodal extension.


Carcinoma of the buccal mucosa is an aggressive disease, characterized by a high rate of locoregional failure. Transoral wide excision is an adequate treatment for early-stage lesions; however, a combined approach and an elective neck dissection should be considered in advanced lesions.