Oral Cancer in Healthy Young Women
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population are non-smokers under the age of 50.
The culprit appears to be HPV-16(human papillovirus).
HPV-16 is a sexually transmitted virus which the body’s immune system usually clears on it’s own.
But 1% of those infected have a lack of immune response to HPV-16 leading to cancer.
HPV-16 has long been known to cause cervical cancer.
According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, there has been an increase in HPV-16 related oropharyngeal cancer.
25% of all oral cancers are HPV-16 related and then 25% of those occur in women as young as 19.
Viral related cancer is independent of tobacco and alcohol use. It also progresses much more rapidly.Lesions tend to be in the posterior oral cavity(back of tongue, tonsils and throat).
The mortality rate for oral cancer is higher than in many other cancers. Oral cancer kills 1 person per hour every day.
14% of HPV-16 cases are not caught until late stages. These patients are usually young and healthy without pain or symptoms.
It also has a high risk of of producing a secondary primary tumor.
The lack of symptoms and late diagnosis has prompted the Federal government to recommend that young girls(16+) be vaccinated for HPV-16.
Categories: Dental News, Women
Topics: Tags: cancer, cancers, cervical cancer, diagnosis, federal government, human papillovirus, immune response, immune system, journal of clinical oncology, oncology