Oropharyngeal cancer is a significant risk of HPV


by Sarah Constantin Mar 28 2015

HPV can cause oral and pharyngeal cancer. The incidence of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer is about 6.4 per 100,000 in men and 1.4 per 100,000 in women.Oropharyngeal cancer is a significant risk of HPV HPV causes about 60% of cases of oropharyngeal cancer.""Humans Need Not Apply" is …" The overall lifetime risk of oropharyngeal cancer is 1.55% for men and 0.67% for women.Anna Salamon

10.1% of men and 3.6% of women have oral HPV infections.

This yields a probability of a roughly 11% chance of getting oropharyngeal cancer for women, conditional on having oral HPV, and a roughly 9.2% chance of getting oropharyngeal cancer for men, conditional on having oral HPV.

Oral HPV testing is commercially available, but the value of the test for predicting oral cancer has not yet been established. Most people who test positive for salivary HPV will not get oral cancer. The type of oral HPV that causes cancer is recurrent infection concentrated in the tonsils. It is difficult to take a sample from this area without anaesthesia, and saliva samples for HPV tests will mostly produce positive results uncorrelated with cancer risk.

HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer is less dangerous than HPV-negative oropharyngeal cancer, with a 84% 3-year survival rate, vs. a 57.1% 3-year survival rate for HPV-negative oropharyngeal tumors.

HPV-associated oral cancer appears to be almost as common as HPV-associated cervical cancer, and affects more men than women. This is a strong argument for men as well as women to get the HPV vaccine.

Gillison, Maura L., et al. "Prevalence of oral HPV infection in the United States, 2009-2010." Jama 307.7 (2012): 693-703. Ang, K. Kian, et al. "Human papillomavirus and survival of patients with oropharyngeal cancer." New England Journal of Medicine 363.1 (2010): 24-35. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancerbasics/lifetime-probability-of-developing-or-dying-from-cancer http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/statistics/headneck.htm Ang, K. K.; Harris, J.; Wheeler, R.; Weber, R.; Rosenthal, D. I.; Nguyen-Tân, P. F.; Westra, W. H.; Chung, C. H.; Jordan, R. C.; Lu, C.; Kim, H.; Axelrod, R.; Silverman, C. C.; Redmond, K. P.; Gillison, M. L. (2010). "Human Papillomavirus and Survival of Patients with Oropharyngeal Cancer". New England Journal of Medicine 363 (1): 24–35.