Objectives: The main aim of the present study is to analyze the differences in the clinical behavior of pT1 and pT2 oral squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity and the importance of tumor thickness in these groups of patients. Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted using the records of patients diagnosed with pT1 and pT2 oral squamous cell carcinoma between 2006 and 2015 to identify significant differences between these two groups of patients. Several pathological features such as T-stage, N-stage, tumor thickness, surgical margins, and locoregional failure were analyzed. Results: 194 patients were included in this study. Tumor thickness >0.4 cm was significantly related with nodal involvement and overall survival (p < 0.001). T and N stage, tumor thickness, extracapsular spread and surgical margins were associated with poorer outcomes in terms of overall survival (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Tumor thickness represents an extremely important prognostic factor and to include depth of invasion (DOI) in the staging of oral squamous cell carcinoma will help in the choice of better treatment strategies and to improve overall survival.
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