Scientists have found that oral HPV is connected to head and neck cancers in patients.
The human papillomavirus (HPV-16) is often found lurking in the oral cavities of people. A new study, published in JAMA Oncology, has found that these people are 22 times more likely to contract head and neck cancers at some later stage in their lives.
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The research was published in an online journal. The fact that HPV causes cancers is well known. Most of them have to do with the oral cavity and the larynx. The soft palate, the base of the tongue and tonsils are all candidates for a tumor or two.
The presence of HPV in the patient’s mouth is also indicative of his or her sexual behavior. Over 97,000 people participated in two country-wide surveys. At the beginning all the participants showed no signs of cancer.
They were tracked for a period of four years and 132 cases of head and neck cancer developed in the sample. About 396 healthy individuals composed the control group.
They had their mouthwash samples examined carefully. Those who had a presence of HPV in their mouth cavities were 22 times more likely to develop head and neck cancers later on.
The presence of other kinds of HPV, such as beta and gamma HPVs, were also linked to neck and head cancer. These variants were to be found on the skin.
The really good news is that the virus can be stopped dead in its tracks via a simple vaccine. Detection just requires a mouthwash sample. Those who have HPV ought to be careful since it can lead to cancers of the cervix, male organ of reproduction and the anus.
The biggest example of a person who contracted throat cancer due to the virus was the famous Hollywood actor, Michael Douglas. His illness hit the headlines in 2013.
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Two vaccines have been approved by the FDA for HPV-16. One of them is Cervarix and the other one is Gardasil. Over two thirds of Americans are infected by similar viruses that cause a range of troublesome symptoms.