One hundred two patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue were treated by surgery. The grade of the tumor did not influence survival; however, survival was influenced by the stage of the disease and the operation selected. Operations that provided wider access decreased the incidence of local recurrence. Of the 102 patients, 23 percent required either total or partial laryngectomy. The survival curves of the 23 patients suggest that management of the larynx is a key factor in treating larger cancers. Overall, the five-year survival rate for the 102 patients was 42 percent. Surgery is the treatment of choice in squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue.