HPV and throat cancer

HPV and throat cancerRecently I received a phone call from a patient who was concerned about the increased risk of throat cancer related to a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. When asked, she stated that yes, both she and her partner had engaged in oral sex, therefore, the concerned interest in a potential connection between HPV and throat cancer.

Oropharyngeal cancer in the throat, soft palate, tonsils or base of the tongue can occur as a result of the HPV virus. HPV can cause warts in the genitals, mouth and anus, and is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States, particularly in adults younger than 55. This might be related to changes in oral sex practices. Continue reading

HPV in head and neck cancer

U-M researchers find best way to detect HPV, which will help with treatment choices

A hand is holding a microscope slide

Researchers study tumor slides to look for markers of HPV

As researchers have found that the majority of throat cancers are linked to HPV, the human papillomavirus, they have also found that patients with HPV-positive cancer tend to respond better to treatments than those with HPV-negative cancers. In fact, research is ongoing to see if reducing the intensity of these treatments in HPV-positive patients could result in equally good outcomes with fewer toxic side effects.

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Thank you Michael Douglas for sparking the dialog on HPV and throat cancers

HPV viral capsid pictureThe frank remarks by actor Michael Douglas on the causes of throat cancer have helped to focus attention on a topic many are reluctant to discuss: the relationship between HPV and throat cancers. HPV can be spread from an infected partner to another person during oral sex. Some strains of HPV are known to cause cancer of the cervix in women and can also cause cancer of the mouth or throat. These strains are called high risk HPV.

mCancerPartner sat down with Thomas E. Carey, Ph.D., Donald A. Kerr Endowed Collegiate Professor of Oral Pathology and Continue reading

Five things about Pap tests that might surprise you

Pap tests (or Pap smears) are well accepted tests that check for changes in the cells of the cervix (the lowest part of the uterus or womb) and screen for precancerous and cancerous lesions.pap1

Pap tests are able to detect problems early and treatment may prevent cancer. Data shows that Pap screening has lowered the cervical cancer rate in the United States by more than 50% over the last 30 years.

This test is such a familiar part of our healthcare routine that many women might be surprised to learn five important things about the Pap test:

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