Virus can be a cause of oral and throat cancer

In a recent study, it has been found that oral cancer is the result of not only smoking and drinking but it may also be caused by sexually transmitting virus.

The virus is referred to as HPV virus (human papillomavirus) and is known for causing cancer of the cervix i.e. neck of the womb (uterus of women) and is now found responsible for cancer in the upper throat.

The research report is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and shows that women may get oral cancer as a result of HPV but now men are at increased risk of oral cancer as a result of this virus.

There are almost 10,000 new cases of oropharyngeal cancer per year and there is an increase of 28% since 1988 where other types of head and neck cancer are decreasing.

According to Dr. Maura Gillison, a head-and-neck cancer specialist at Ohio State and senior author of the new research, HPV vaccination for oral cancer has not been recently tested. Although this vaccine is helpful for girls and young women against cervical cancer and is also approved for boys to work against anal cancer and genital warts.


Chaturvedi, A. K. et. al. (2011). Human Papillomavirus and Rising Oropharyngeal Cancer Incidence in the United States. Journal of Clinical Oncology, doi: 10.1200/JCO.2011.36.4596

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