Human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccinations were originally advised only for girls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Pediatrics now recommend that both girls and boys be vaccinated. The recommendations are well founded: HPV infection is the number one cause of oropharyngeal cancer, which occurs in the middle part of the throat and is diagnosed in about 14,000 Americans each year. Men are three times more likely than women to develop oropharyngeal cancers linked to HPV.
Faced with an abundance of cancer stories in the news and our own personal experiences with cancer, we may fear that there’s a growing “epidemic” of the disease.
Not so. A new report says that overall, deaths from cancer are continuing to decline, as they have for nearly two decades.
Traditionally, patients with oral cancers tended to be older individuals with a long history of smoking and heavy alcohol use. In the past decade, however, that picture has changed dramatically.
Today, infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer in the U.S. and Western Europe. Oropharyngeal cancers affect the back of the throat (i.e. the tonsils and base of the tongue). HPV is the same virus that causes most cases of cervical cancer in women.
Patients with HPV-related head and neck cancers are often relatively young, not heavy drinkers or smokers, and come from all segments of society.
Today, it is estimated that viruses are responsible for almost 20 percent of cancer cases worldwide. Seven viruses have been connected to specific types of malignancies. They include: Human papillomaviruses (HPVs), a group of more than 150 related viruses that are spread by contact. At least a dozen of them are known to cause cancer, … Read more