Tongue cancer rise among young women 'alarming'

Surgeons are concerned that traditional risk factors don't explain the changing epidemiology

The incidence of tongue cancer among young women has mysteriously increased by an “alarming” 385% over the past three decades, an Australian-led study shows.

The findings, which mirror trends observed globally, are of particular concern because smoking rates have declined steadily over the same period, the researchers say.

They analysed data from 10,500 Australian and 1100 Singaporean patients with tongue squamous cell carcinoma to assess the changing demographics of the disease between 1990 and 2014.