What you need to know about the rise of oral HPV cases in men


What you need to know about the rise of oral HPV cases in men

A new study shows 11 million people were infected with oral HPV between 2011 and 2014, but what’s worse, 7 million of those men had HPV strains that can cause cancer. What is oral HPV and why is it increasing the risk of oral cancer in men?

Recent studies suggest that men have a particularly high prevalence of high-risk oral human papillomaviruses (HPV), which can lead to cancer. There are more than 150 types of HPV, and while certain strains can cause benign growths such as warts, a limited number may cause cancer at various anatomical locations, including the mouth, throat, anus, cervis and penis.

Oral HPV is a sexually transmitted virus and can be closed by means of oral sex with an infected person.

Who is in danger?

Among the men, who had a lot of lifetime oral sex partners have the greatest risk of wear of such high-risk HPV strains. While the number of tobacco-related head and neck cancer has declined in the U. S. thanks to a growing awareness of smoking-related risks, the incidence of oral cancer in men is still growing as a result of HPV. This increase was most striking among men in the age of 50-59, and these trends are expected to increase in the coming 40 years, the making of oropharyngeal cancer is an important public health problem.

HPV and Cancer

While the most high-risk HPV infections go away within 1 to 2 years, and does not lead to cancer, some HPV infections can persist for many years. Persistent infections with high-risk HPV types that can lead to cancer. HPV is so common that almost all men and women get it at some point in their life and are asymptomatic and never know it. In most individuals, their immune system clears the infection. However, in some people the virus lingers in some tissues, such as the oropharynx.

Screening and Prevention

It is possible to identify the virus by analyzing saliva, this test is not yet part of routine screening at the practice and is used mainly in research settings.


HPV vaccination can reduce the risk of infection with the HPV types that the vaccine. This vaccine offers good protection against new HPV infections, but they are not effective in the treatment of established HPV infections or disease caused by HPV. For them to be effective, people must be vaccinated before they are exposed to the viruses.

Currently, the Gardasil vaccine is approved for use in the in men and women from 9 to 26. Given this age range, the vaccinations and the discussions about the vaccine are largely carried out by pediatricians, general practitioners and obstetricians and gynecologists.

In addition, correct and consistent use of condoms can reduce HPV transmission between sexual partners. However, because the areas that are not covered by the condom can be infected by the virus, condoms are unlikely to provide complete protection against the infection.

With regard to cancer, there are oral cancer screening programs are available and there are no current treatments for the HPV virus itself, there are a number of excellent curative treatment options for HPV-related oral cancer, such as surgery and/or radiation-based treatments, depending on the site, the stage, and the health of the patient. Chemotherapy may be added to radiation treatment in more advanced cases. HPV-related oral cancers have a very favorable prognosis with modern treatments.

Richard Bakst, MD, Assistant Professor of radiotherapy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Bakst is a board-certified radiation oncologist whose clinical practice is focused on the treatment of patients with head and neck cancer, lymphoma and breast cancer.

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