Providers Should Educate Patients About HPV and Oral Healthcare
HPV-related oral cancers are on the rise: Dental professionals should be among the healthcare providers who recommend HPV vaccination.
In decades past, cancers of the oropharynx were primarily caused by tobacco and alcohol use. But now, an estimated 70% of oropharyngeal cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Oral cancers caused by HPV infection include cancer in the back of the throat and at the base of the tongue and tonsils.
The results of a recent study suggest that young adult patients may be uncomfortable discussing HPV-related issues with their oral healthcare providers, but that this is a necessary group to target to prevent oropharyngeal cancer.