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HPV and Throat Cancer

By: Kelly Warf, Au.D.
Alexander Goldin, M.D.

Cancer of the throat and mouth has been thought to affect smokers. However, there’s another risk factor that can cause cancer in non-smokers; Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

Human Papilloma Virus affects the skin causing warts. Understanding the effects of this virus and protection against it has only come out in the last 20-30 years. HPV is the most common STD. It can lead to cancers of the reproductive systems in both sexes, as well as cancer of the throat (oropharyngeal). HPV is thought to be the cause of 70% of oropharyngeal cancers.

Symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer may include:

  • lump in the neck or throat
  • ulcer or spot (red or white) on the back of the throat
  • persistent sore throat
  • enlarged tonsil
  • difficulty opening mouth
  • difficulty swallowing
  • unexplained ear pain
  • bleeding from the mouth

Diagnosis involves in-depth case history with an examination and imaging of the mouth, throat, and neck. If a lump or tumor is found, then a biopsy will be performed to determine if it is cancerous and what treatment will be beneficial.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, please schedule an appointment with us today so we can determine the underlying cause and create a treatment plan. Schedule your appointment at the Ear, Nose, and Throat Center today. Call 847-685-1000

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