HPV RISK ORAL CANCER
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection responsible for causing cervical cancer amongst the sexually active partners. There are more than 100 types of HPV. About more than 40 types of HPV can infect people, but only a few cause cancers. The study has shown that HPV (Human papillomavirus) is also risk factor for oral and oropharyngeal cancers. About 70% of oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV. In particular, there is a strong link between high risk HPV-16 and oropharyngeal cancer (oropharynx and tonsil). HPV appears to be a more serious risk factor for oropharyngeal cancer than for oral cavity or larynx cancers.
RISE OF ORAL CANCER ASSOCIATED WITH HPV
Oral Cancers associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) in the United States are on rise. According to CDC about 20 million people are infected with HPV in United States and there are approximately 5.5 million new cases every year. The CDC estimates that roughly 8,400 Americans are diagnosed with HPV-related head and neck cancers each year. Men are three times more likely to get oral HPV than women. The oral cancer is most common in people especially those in their ages of 30’s and 40’s.
WHAT IS THE RISK FACTOR FOR HPV RELATED ORAL CANCER?
People involved in oral sex more likely to get HPV related oral cancer. An HPV infection is easily passed between partners through sexual contact. Because the infection is so common, most people get HPV infections shortly after becoming sexually active for the first time. As with many cancers, the risk developing oral cancer increase with age. HPV related to oral cancer HPV type 16 is causing head and neck cancers.
HOW DOES HPV LEAD TO HEAD AND NECK CANCER?
HPV can cause normal cells in infected skin to turn abnormal. HPV first infects epithelial cells and control the cell mechanism for growth and differentiation. These cells, which are organized in layers, cover the inside and outside surfaces of the body, including the skin, the throat, the genital tract, and the anus.
Once HPV enters an epithelial cell, the virus begins to make the proteins it encodes. There are two proteins encodes (E6 and E7) made by high-risk HPV type 16 which interfere with cell functions that normally prevent excessive growth helping the cell to grow in an uncontrolled manner. Sometimes, the infected cells are not destroyed, and a persistent infection results. As a result of persistently infected cells that continue to multiply and hence develop mutations in cellular genes that promote even more abnormal cell growth, leading to permanent deregulation of host cellular proliferation and form an area of precancerous cells and, ultimately a cancerous tumor.
TEST FOR EARLY DETECTION AND PREVENTION OF HPV RISK ORAL CANCER
With the advent of molecular technique genome of HPV can be detected in the early stage of infection which helps to monitor the infection and prevent oral cancer. Head and neck cancer is a very serious disease but doctor found good prognosis with the treatment.
ORAL CANCER SYMPTOMS
Some of the most common oral cancer symptoms and signs include:
- Persistent mouth sore: A sore in the mouth that does not heal is the most common symptom of oral cancer
- Persistent mouth pain: Persistent mouth pain is another common oral cancer sign
- Persistent bad breath
- A lump or thickening in the cheek and neck
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
- Persistent Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
- Numbness of the tongue or elsewhere in the mouth
- Jaw swelling that makes dentures hurt or fit poorly
- Loosening of the teeth
- Pain in the teeth or jaw
- Voice changes
- Weight loss
If any of these oral cancer symptoms or signs are present for days or weeks, consult your healthcare practitioner to request a HPV Risk test to check for oral cancer. As with any cancer, the early diagnosis will help to treat the cancer in an effective manner.