HPV-Associated Oral Cancer is Epidemic



Around 50 years ago, scientists convincingly linked HPV infection to cervical cancer. As a result, the cervical cancer incidence in the U.S. has been reduced by 74% after implementation of routine cervical cancer screening either by Pap smear or HPV testing. HPV infection has also been linked to the development of oral cancer, and the incidence of HPV-associated oral cancer now surpasses the incidence of cervical cancer. The incidence of HPV-associated oral cancer is increasing each year and is 3 times more common in males than in females.



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HPV-associated oral cancer has increased by 700% in the last thirty years.

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More than 70% of oropharyngeal cancer is caused by HPV virus.

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92% of oropharyngeal cancer is diagnosed at the late stage.

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Oral HPV infection increases oropharyngeal cancer risk by 22x.

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Men are 4x more likely to have HPV-associated oral cancer than women.


In the U.S., HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer has increased from 0.8 per 100,000 in 1988-1990 to 2.6 per 100,000 in 2003-2004. It is estimated that HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer is increasing at least 5% per year.


Using cancer registry data, the Center for Disease Control estimates that each year in the U.S. 13,200 men and 3,200 women are diagnosed with HPV-associated oral cancer. The prevalence of oral HPV infection among men and women aged 14 to 69 years is 10.1% and 3.6%.


HPV prevalence in oropharyngeal cancer has increased from 16.3% in 1984-1989 to 71.7% in 2000-2004.


Among 22,235 HPV-associated oral cancer diagnosed in the U.S. between 1997 and 2013, 92% of them were diagnosed at advanced stages.


After adjusting for tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption, the odds ratio of oropharyngeal cancer is 22.4 with HPV-16 infection.


""This cancer is caused by HPB (human papilloma virus), which actually comes from cunnilingus."
Michael Douglas

"I am almost willing to bet, anytime you hear about somebody who gets tonsil cancer, throat cancer, if they're not massive smokers and they're not massive, heavy drinkers, it's almost inevitably HPV"
Bruce Dickinson

"HPV is the number one leading cause of oral cancer these days"
"No one is safe" "Men, there's really no test for it at this point, there's no routine screening. So that's another things that I'd love to see change - routine screening for it"

Rikki rockett