A retrospective study was made of 80 cases of epidermoid carcinoma of the palate that were treated at the UCLA Center for the Health Sciences between 1955 and 1977. Tumor size larger than 3 cm, extension to neighboring structures, and contralateral, bilateral, and "fixed" lymph node metastases substantially decreased survival. The presence of ipsilateral nodes and the modality of treatment used (surgery or irradiation) did not appear to affect the outcome. Three-year cure rates for all cases was 40%. Ninety percent of recurrences took place during the first two years after treatment, and additional cancers developed in the upper aerodigestive tract of 20% of the patients.