Purpose: Although patients aged >70 years are subject to early oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (E-OCSCC), evidence is currently lacking regarding the probable outcomes of definitive radiotherapy (RT) compared to surgery in this population. Methods: We recruited patients aged ≥70 years with a diagnosis of E-OCSCC from the Taiwan Cancer Registry Database. Propensity score matching was performed, and Cox proportional-hazards model curves were used to analyze all-cause mortality of patients at different age intervals undergoing different treatments. Results: The matching process yielded a final cohort of 604 patients in the definitive RT and surgery cohorts who were eligible for further analysis. These patients were classified as old (70–80 years) and very old (>80 years). In the multivariate Cox regression analysis, the adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) (95% confidence interval [CI]) for surgery compared with definitive RT was 0.465 (0.354–0.610, P < 0.001). The aHR (95% CI) for age >80 years compared with age 70–80 years was 2.370 (1.720, 3.265, P < 0.001). The aHR (95% CI) for T2N0M0 compared with T1N0M0 was 1.752 (1.321–2.32, P < 0.001). The aHR (95% CI) for Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) ≥ 2 compared with CCI = 0 was 1.264 (1.137–1.738, P = 0.011). After stratified analysis, the aHRs for surgery compared with definitive RT were 0.484 (0.352–0.665, P < 0.001) and 0.411 (0.232–0.728, P = 0.002) among old and very old patients with E-OCSCC, respectively. Conclusions: Surgery may be more beneficial than definitive RT in selected elderly patients with E-OCSCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas