The 12 patients less than 35 years of age treated for squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity at the American Oncologic Hospital between 1954-1979 are examined. Group A (eight patients) had involvement of the tongue; Group B (4 patients) had carcinoma of other oral sites. Mean "T" stage for Group A and Group B was 1 and 1.5, respectively. Treatment was surgical in the majority of cases. Seventy-one percent of Group A and 25% of Group B developed metastatic disease to the neck. The 2-year survival rate was 57% (A) and 75% (B)--75% combined. The collective results of this and other studies suggest lower control rates than those reported for older patients with similar initial presentations. The implications of this observation are discussed in relation to the management of the younger patient with squamous carcinoma of the oral cavity.