Profile and Survival of Tongue Cancer Patients in "Dharmais" Cancer Hospital, Jakarta

  • Sutandyo, Noorwati (Hematology-Medical Oncology, Head and Neck Cancer Team Work Dharmais Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Ramli, Ramadhan (Oncologic Surgery, Head and Neck Cancer Team Work Dharmais Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Sari, Lenny (Pathologic Anatomy, Head and Neck Cancer Team Work Dharmais Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Soeis, Dewi Syafriyetti (Radiotherapy, Head and Neck Cancer Team Work Dharmais Cancer Hospital)
  • Published : 2014.03.01


Background: Tongue cancer is still a major health problem in most developing countries around the world. Statistics shown the number of tongue cancers, especially in early age, to be increasing, with poor survival. Objective: To analyze the characteristic profile of tongue cancer patients in Indonesia as well as the survival rate. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in Dharmais National Cancer Hospital by collecting general, clinical, and survival data of tongue cancer patients from medical records for January 2009 to April 2012. Results: Tongue cancer incidence increased year by year. The average age of tongue cancer patients was 47.5 years, and males predominated, accounting for 64.5% of cases. Most patients presented at an advanced stage (69.6%). The histopathology type was squamous cell carcinoma in the vast majoriy (96.8%). The therapies applied were surgery (45.6%), radiation (63.6%) and chemotherapy (57.6%). The survival rate after one year is 60.6% and after two years was 12.1%. In addition, median survival of tongue cancer patients was 20 months (95% confidence interval 9.07-30.9). The significant factor affecting survival was size of tumor with a hazard ratio of 3.18 (95% CI, 1.02-9.93; p 0.046) for largest versus smallest categories. Conclusions: In each year, the number of tongue cancer incidents in Indonesia is increasing. The age of tongue cancer patients in Indonesia is younger compared to other countries. Moreover, the survival rates are not high.


  1. Rana M, Iqbal A, Warraich R, et al (2011). Modern surgical management of tongue carcinoma-A clinical retrospective research over a 12 years period. Head Neck Oncol, 3, 43.
  2. Mafi N, Kadivar M, Hosseini N, Ahmadi S, Zare-Mirzaie A (2012). Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in iranian patients and risk factors in young adults: a fifteen-year study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 13, 3373-8.
  3. Moore SR, Johnson NW, Pierce AM, Wilson DF (2000). The epidemiology of tongue cancer: a review of global incidence. Oral Dis, 6, 75-84.
  4. Patel SC, Carpenter WR, Tyree S, et al (2011). Increasing incidence of oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma in young white women, age 18 to 44 years. J Clin Oncol, 29, 1488-94.
  5. Rao SVK, Mejia G, Roberts-Thomson K, Logan R (2013). Epidemiology of oral cancer in asia in the past decade- an update (2000-2012). Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 5567-77.
  6. Reddy V, Cundall-Curry D, Bridger MWM (2010). Trends in the incidence rates of tonsil and base of tongue cancer in England, 1985-2006. Ann R Coll Surg Engl, 92, 655-9.
  7. Rusthoven K, Ballonoff A, Raben D, et al (2007). Poor prognosis in patients with stage I and II oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer, 112, 345-51.
  8. Yip C, Charn TC, Wee JTS, et al (2010). Outcomes of oral tongue cancer: Does age matter? Ann Acad Med Singapore, 39, 897-903.
  9. Dahlstrom K, Little JA, Zafereo ME, et al (2008). Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in never smoker-never drinkers : a descriptive epidemiologic study. Head Neck, 30, 75-84.
  10. Yamazaki H, Yoshida K, Kotsuma T, et al (2010). Age is not a limiting factor for brachytherapy for carcinoma of the node negative oral tongue in patients aged eighty or older. Rad Oncol, 5, 116.
  11. Annertz K, Anderson H, Palmer K, Wennerberg J (2012). The increase in incidence of cancer of the tongue in the Nordic countries continues into the twenty-first century. Acta Otolaryngol, 132, 552-7.
  12. Biazevic M, Antunes JLF, Togni J, et al (2010). Survival and quality of life of patients with oral and oropharyngeal cancer at 1-year follow-up of tumor resection. J Appl Oral Sci, 18, 279-84.
  13. Davidson BJ, Root WA, Trock BJ (2001). Age and survival from squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue. Head Neck, 23, 273-9.
  14. Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al (2012). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2010 [WWW] National Cancer Institute.
  15. Jemal A, Bray F, Center MM, et al (2011). Global cancer statistics. CA Cancer J Clin, 61, 69-90.
  16. Kokemueller H, Rana M, Rublack J, et al (2011). The Hannover experience: Surgical treatment of tongue cancer-A clinical retrospective evaluation over a 30 years period. Head Neck Oncol, 3, 1-9.
  17. Krishnamurthy A, Ramshankar V (2013). Early stage oral tongue cancer among non-tobacco users - an increasing trend observed in a south indian patient population presenting at a single centre. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 5061-5.
  18. Lam L, Logan RM, Luke C (2006). Epidemiological analysis of tongue cancer in South Australia for the 24-year period, 1977-2001. Aus Dental J, 51, 16-22.
  19. Shibuya Y, Tanimoto H, Umeda M, et al (2004). Induction Chemotherapy with Docetaxel, Cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil for Tongue Cancer. Kobe J Med Sci, 50, 1-7.
  20. Saba N, Goodman M, Ward K, et al (2011). Gender and ethnic disparities in incidence and survival of squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue, base of tongue, and tonsils: A Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program-based analysis. Oncology, 81, 12-20.
  21. Sarkaria JN, Harari PM (1994). Oral tongue cancer in young adults less than 40 years of age: rationale for aggressive therapy. Head Neck, 16, 107-11.
  22. Shiboski CH, Schmidt BL, Jordan RC (2005). Tongue and tonsil carcinoma: increasing trends in the U.S. population ages 20-44 years. Cancer, 103, 1843-9.
  23. Shim S, Cha J, Koom W, et al (2010). Clinical outcomes for T1-2N0-1 oral tongue cancer patients underwent surgery with and without postoperative radiotherapy. Rad Oncol, 5, 1-7.
  24. Siegelmann-Danieli N, A Hanlon, JA Ridge, et al (1998). Oral tongue cancer in patients less than 45 years old: institutional experience and comparison with older patients. JCO, 16, 745-53.
  25. Sinuraya ES (2012a). Registrasi kanker berbasis rumah sakit di Rumah Sakit Kanker Dharmais 2003-2007. [The hospital based-cancer registry at Dharmais cancer hospital 2003-2007]. Jakarta: Indonesian Journal of Cancer.
  26. Sinuraya ES (2012b). Registrasi kanker berbasis rumah sakit di Rumah Sakit Kanker Dharmais 1993-1997. [The hospital based-cancer registry at Dharmais cancer hospital 2003-2007]. Jakarta: Indonesian Journal of Cancer.
  27. Warnakulasuriya S (2009). Global epidemiology of oral and oropharyngeal cancer. Oral Oncol, 45, 309-16.
  28. Weijers M, Leemans CR, Aartman IH, et al (2011). Oral cancer trends in a single head-and-neck cancer center in the Netherlands; decline in T-stage at the time of admission. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal, 16, 914-8.

Cited by

  1. Characteristics of Oral Tongue and Base of the Tongue Cancer: A Hospital Cancer Registry Based Analysis vol.16, pp.4, 2015,
  2. Les cancers de la cavité buccale : affection à prédominance féminine à Ouagadougou vol.21, pp.2, 2015,
  3. Buccal swab, a minimally invasive method for the screening of oral cancer in active smokers vol.1022, pp.1742-6596, 2018,