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March 24, 2016 / drjamesfreije

HPV in the Oral Cavity Increases Risk of Head and Neck Cancer

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)


A graduate of SUNY Upstate Medical Center, Dr. James Freije is an accomplished otolaryngologist. Currently practicing as an associate with Mount Nittany Physician Group, Dr. James Freije has placed special focus on head and neck cancers and he is on the cancer committee at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

A recent study published in Jama Oncology, found that the chances of developing head and neck cancer is 22 times higher in patients who have certain types of a human papillomavirus (HPV) oral infection. The study looked at medical records of over 96,000 individuals gathered from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial and the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study III Nutrition Cohort and discovered a strong link between HPV-16 in the oral cavity and head and neck cancer later in life.

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who were responsible for completing the study, believe that if continued research shows a connection between HPV-16 and head and neck cancer, changes can be made to HPV vaccines that may also reduce the rates of such cancers. Current speculation believes that targeting gamma and beta HPV in a vaccine may add this extra layer of prevention.

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