HPV (human papilloma virus) Oral Cancer


HPV and Oral Cancer:

  • Did you know that HPV is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancers (the very back of the mouth and part of what in lay terms might be called a part of the throat), and a very small number of front of the mouth, oral cavity cancers. HPV16 is the version most responsible, and affects both males and females.
  • HPV is responsible for the growing number of oral cancers.
  • White, non-smoking males in their 30s and 40s are most at risk, 4 to 1 over females.

How do people get HPV?

  • HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal, anal and oral sex.
  • You are more likely to get HPV if you have many sex partners or a sex partner who has had many partners.
  • Many people don’t have symptoms and are unaware that they have HPV.
  • The virus may be inactive for weeks, months and for some people possibly even years after infection.

Oral Cancer Signs and Symptoms:

This list considers both oral cancers from HPV and those from tobacco and alcohol

  • An ulcer or sore that does not heal within 2-3 weeks
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Pain when chewing
  • A persistent sore throat or hoarse voice
  • A swelling or lump in the mouth
  • A painless lump felt on the outside of the neck, which has been there for at least two weeks.
  • A numb feeling in the mouth or lips
  • Constant coughing
  • An ear ache on one side (unilateral) which persists for more than a few days.

If you have any concerns about HPV please let us know.  We do have salivary testing to diagnose HPV!

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