Seven cases of squamous cell carcinoma of the ear encountered at Okayama university hospital between 1972 and 1981 were reviewed, and a histopathological study of the temporal bone of one patient was reported. All cases were in advanced stages, T3 in five cases and T4 in two cases according to the TNM classification of ear cancer after Sakai. The external auditory canal was the primary site in five cases and the middle ear in two cases. Only two patients, whose lesions were localized in the shallow portion of the external auditory canal, had lived for a long period without any recurrence at the time of this study. In contrast, the remaining five patients whose lesions extended into the middle ear and mastoid had died of cancer. Histopathological examination of the temporal bone of one patient revealed that the tumor extended both into the internal acoustic meatus along the facial canal and to the extratemporal bone area via the eustachian tube. Additionally, in spite of extensive osteoradionecrosis over the temporal bone due to a full dose of irradiation, active tumor tissue remained in the petrous apex cells of the temporal bone.From these findings, it was assumed that carcinoma of the ear is the most difficult to treat successfully among head and neck malignancies.