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

Throat Cancer: More Common Than You Might Think

U-M Cancer Center to offer free throat cancer screenings April 18

throat cancerMichael Douglas, Sigmund Freud, Ulysses S. Grant, George Harrison, and Babe Ruth – what could these people possibly have in common? Throat Cancer.

Even though it’s not talked about as much as some other types of cancer, throat cancer isn’t rare – in fact it’s the sixth most common cancer in the United States.

Throat cancer can start in the soft tissues of the upper, middle or bottom portion of the throat and can include the voice box (larnyx).

Researchers have found that 85 percent Continue reading

U-M Cancer Center to offer free throat cancer screenings April 26

throat cancerThroat cancer can take away your voice, your jaw and your ability to swallow food, but it also can be treated if caught early enough.

What are the risk factors for throat cancer?

  • Smoking
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Drinking alcohol

What are the symptoms of throat cancer?

  • Trouble swallowing food
  • Mouth and/or throat soreness
  • A persistent hoarseness
  • Neck lump(s) Continue reading

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

U-M Cancer Center to offer free throat cancer screenings April 20

Throat cancer can take away your voice, your jaw and your ability to swallow food, but it also can be treated if caught early enough.

What are the risk factors for throat cancer?throatcancerscreening

  • Smoking
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Drinking alcohol

What are the symptoms of throat cancer?

  • Trouble swallowing food
  • Mouth and/or throat soreness
  • A persistent hoarseness
  • Neck lump(s)

Should I be screened for throat cancer?

If you exhibit any of the above risk factors for or symptoms of throat cancer, you should be screened. Throat cancer screenings are critical to helping identify previously undetected cancers. Continue reading

Throat Cancer: More Common Than You Think

Michael Douglas, Sigmund Freud, Ulysses S. Grant, George Harrison and Babe Ruth –what could these people possibly have in common?  Throat Cancer.

Even though it’s not talked about as much as some other types of cancer, throat cancer isn’t rare. In fact it’s the sixth most common cancer in the United States.

Throat cancer can start in the soft tissues of the upper, middle or bottom portion of the throat and can include the voice box (larnyx).

Researchers have found that 85% percent of throat cancers occur after exposure to cancer-causing chemicals like tobacco and alcohol and tend to develop in areas where these chemicals have the most contact. Those at risk for developing throat cancer are people who drink 3 or more alcoholic beverages per day, or smoke or chew tobacco (or have in the past).  People that use both tobacco and alcohol are at an even greater risk for developing throat cancer than people who use alcohol or tobacco alone.

Symptoms like difficulty swallowing, a sore or painful area in the mouth or throat, a persistent hoarse voice, or a lump in the throat or neck that doesn’t go away should be checked by a doctor.

The good news is that throat cancer may be prevented by changing habits and can be treated if caught early. You can reduce your risk for developing throat cancer by receiving regular medical check- ups, eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, and seeing the doctor when symptoms persist for more than a couple of weeks.

Continue reading about throat cancer and risk factors and treatment options: