Oral Cancer and HPV
- Posted on: Mar 15 2019
The connection between oral cancer and HPV, human papillomavirus, has been a frequent topic in the news recently. HPV is common and is typically spread through sexual contact. The U.S. Center for Disease and Prevention (CDC) reported that 60 to 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancers, which include the soft palate, base of tongue and tonsils, were linked to HPV.
Because the immune system usually will fight HPV infections with no noticeable symptoms, most people never know they are infected. There are no routine tests that uncover HPV-related oral diseases, but an oral cancer screening performed by a dentist can find signs of oral cancer.
Early detection and treatment can dramatically reduce deaths from oral cancer. And early detection of oral cancer is often possible.
The HPV vaccine, also reported on recently and frequently, is important for adolescents and young adults to help prevent oral cancer related to HPV. The vaccine is most effective when given during the adolescent years.
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