Partial glossectomy and low-tlose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy are both effective in early-stage tongue cancer without lymph node metastasis, although head and neck surgeons and radiation oncologists disagree on which treatment is superior. Because our subjects select the treatment modality, we compared treatment results between 39 subjects undergoing partial glossectomy and 107 undergoing brachytherapy for stage I/II tongue cancer. Local recurrence was observed in 10% and cervical lymph node recurrence in 23% following partial glossectomy, versus local recurrence in 13% and cervical lymph node recurrence in 24% following brachytherapy. Disease-free 5-year survival was 87.0% following partial glossectomy and 90.7% following brachytherapy. Because incidence of local recurrence, nodal metastasis, and prognosis were the same regardless of treatment modality, treatment should be based on the age, performance status, and quality of life among subjects.
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