HPV-Related Oral Cancer Increased among White Men in the United States

HPV and CancerHPV is the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus. It can cause mouth or throat cancer. When one of the partners is diagnosed with cancer caused by HPV, intimacy in a long term relationship dies. But according to new research, this should not be the case.

According to the new study made by researchers from the John Hopkins, long term partners with HPV related oral cancers don’t have increased risk of oral HPV infections. The researchers took saliva samples from the partners of oral cancer patients and found out that they didn’t have high levels of HPV DNA. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The occurrence of HPV among couples and partners is comparable to the prevalence of HPV among the general public of the same age, which was 1.3 percent. The study put the risk of contracting HPV through one’s partner in perspective. The researchers suggest that couples should not alter their lifestyle and can still be intimate with their partners.

HPV-related oral cancers have increased among white men in the United States. The virus is now connected with almost three of every four cases of oral cancer. These include cancers of the base of the tongue, soft palate, pharynx, and tonsils. It is still unclear how the cancer causing virus is transmitted.

Once the HPV-related oral cancer is diagnosed, couples fear that it can be transmitted. This leads to anxiety, limiting intimacy, and divorce. Experts say it is normal for older couples belonging in long term relationships to be unsettled by the news that one of them has throat and mouth cancer due to a sexually transmitted virus. They will question what kind of relationship they belong. Most of them have grandchildren and great grandchildren, and they are concern that they could be exposed to the disease.

Photo by Ed Uthman, MD [CC-BY-SA-2.0], undefined

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