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!