Our aim was to document the health-related quality of life (QoL) of patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral cavity who were treated with chemoradiotherapy, and to compare it with that of patients treated with conventional surgery with or without adjuvant treatment. All patients who presented with SCC of the oral cavity treated with chemoradiotherapy alone at the Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital between 2000 and 2011 and who were alive without disease were included. Health-related QoL was assessed by the University of Washington QoL questionnaire version 4, and the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QoL questionnaires C30 and HN35. The questionnaires were sent to all survivors. Those who responded to chemoradiotherapy were matched with patients who were treated by conventional surgery with or without adjuvant treatment by age, sex, subsite of tumour, and TNM stage. Sixteen patients completed the questionnaires (8 in each group). There was no significant difference between the 2 groups in any of the domains of any of the questionnaires. The overall outcome scores for both treatments in all 3 groups were reasonably high, which suggests that both treatments provided acceptable health-related QoL. The surgical group recorded higher scores than the chemoradiotherapy alone group in all domains of the UW-QoL except shoulder and anxiety. They recorded lower scores in all scales and items of EORTC HN35. There was no significant difference in health-related QoL between the 2 groups. Conventional surgery with or without adjuvant treatment recorded higher scores in most QoL domains including chewing, swallowing, saliva, and speech, issues most important to patients with SCC of the oral cavity.