A research has revealed that the oral HPV can lead to neck and head cancer. These forms of cancer are strongly connected to the HPV-16 virus, which is a form of the human papilloma virus.
Previous studies have shown that HPV can lead to throat cancer in men and cervical cancer in women. This only increased the number of vaccines against HPV and the proper age for it was considered to be at the beginning of the teenage years.
The team of researchers from the from Albert Einstein College of Medicine analyzed 96,650 samples of mouthwash from people who were never diagnosed with cancer. They used the mouthwash samples because they can very easily determine if a person will develop head or neck cancer. The study participants were monitored for four years.
132 of the people involved in the study developed head or neck cancer and their mouthwash samples were analyzed in order to see if oral HPV would be found. The researchers discovered that the gamma and betta forms of HPVs increased the risk of neck and head cancer. Also, the people who were diagnosed with HPV-16 had 22% more chances of getting oropharyngeal cancer.
According to the experts, 70% of the head or neck cancer cases are caused by HPV. They believe that until 2020, the cervical cancer will no longer be the most common cancer caused by HPV, but the neck and head cancers will be. In the past, the doctors believed that the neck and head cancers were mainly caused by drinking or smoking, but in the recent years the link to HPV has been noticed. HPV also causes cancer of the anus and of the penis.
Currently, there are two vaccines available on the market for the prevention of the HPV-16 and HPV-18 and they are called Cervarix and Gardasil. Boys and girls are advised to be vaccinated with one of these two when they are 11 years old. They should take three doses of the chosen vaccine. Vaccinating the kids is important, especially since two thirds of the Americans are reportedly infected with the virus. One of the most famous persons that has been diagnosed with throat cancer was the actor Michael Douglas, in 2013. The finding that oral HPV can lead to neck and head cancer was published on January 21, in the JAMA Oncology journal.
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