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Oral cancer associated with HPV


There is a growing body of research that shows an increasing incidence of human papillomavirus-associated cancer in the region of the oropharynx. The oropharynx includes the middle region of the throat, including the tonsils and base of the tongue.

Although the primary risk factors for head and neck cancers remain tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, HPV infection is now associated with many cases of oropharyngeal cancer diagnosed each year; oropharyngeal cancer is the second most diagnosed of cancers associated with HPV. HPV is commonly transmitted through sexual contact. 

Not all types of HPV cause cancer, but 40 known strains of HPV can be transmitted through sexual contact.

Cancers of the head and neck are mostly caused by tobacco and alcohol, but recent studies show that about 60–70 per cent of cancers of the oropharynx may be linked to HPV. Many of these may be caused by a combination of tobacco, alcohol, and HPV. Regular dental check-ups that include an examination of the entire head and neck can be beneficial in identifying cancerous and pre-cancerous signs and symptoms. 

Talk to your dentist or physician if you experience any of these symptoms:
  • persistent sore throat
  • difficulty swallowing
  • hoarseness
  • ear pain
  • enlarged lymph nodes.

Dr Keith John email:

Clinic: Heritage Dental

Tel: 784-456-2220

Cell: 784-526-0752