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An Article on oropharyngeal cancer due to HPV

Akash Pandey

Assistant Professor

CS & IT Dept.

Kalinga University



Oropharyngeal cancer, a type of head and neck cancer, has emerged as a significant health concern in recent years. Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been identified as a major risk factor for the development of oropharyngeal cancer. This article aims to explore the relationship between HPV and oropharyngeal cancer, including its prevalence, risk factors, symptoms, diagnostic methods, treatment options, and preventive measures.

Keywords: HPV, Oropharyngeal cancer.

Understanding HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer:

HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects both men and women. While most HPV infections are harmless and clear up on their own, persistent infections with high-risk HPV strains, primarily HPV-16 and HPV-18, can lead to the development of various cancers, including oropharyngeal cancer. The presence of HPV in oropharyngeal cancer tumors has been established through extensive research.

Prevalence and Trends:

The prevalence of oropharyngeal cancer caused by HPV has been steadily rising in recent years. It is estimated that HPV accounts for approximately 70% of oropharyngeal cancer cases worldwide. This shift in the etiology of oropharyngeal cancer is particularly noticeable among younger individuals, with a higher incidence in men compared to women.

Risk Factors:

Several risk factors contribute to the development of oropharyngeal cancer due to HPV infection. Engaging in oral sex, having multiple sexual partners, smoking tobacco, and having a weakened immune system increase the risk of acquiring HPV and developing oropharyngeal cancer. Additionally, studies have shown that certain genetic and lifestyle factors may also play a role in susceptibility to HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer.

Symptoms and Diagnosis:

The symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer, whether HPV-related or not, are similar and may include persistent sore throat, difficulty swallowing, ear pain, changes in the voice, and the presence of a lump or mass in the neck or throat. Diagnosis often involves a thorough examination of the oropharynx, biopsies, imaging tests, and testing for the presence of HPV DNA in the tumor tissue.

Treatment Options:

Treatment for oropharyngeal cancer due to HPV infection may involve a multidisciplinary approach, including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The specific treatment plan depends on the stage of the cancer, the location and size of the tumor, and the overall health of the patient. HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers tend to respond better to treatment and have a more favorable prognosis compared to non-HPV-related cases.

Prevention and Vaccination:

Preventing HPV infection is a crucial step in reducing the risk of oropharyngeal cancer. Vaccination against HPV is highly effective and is recommended for both males and females. The HPV vaccine provides protection against the most common cancer-causing HPV strains. Safe sexual practices, including the use of condoms and regular dental check-ups, are additional preventive measures that can reduce the transmission of HPV.


The connection between HPV infection and oropharyngeal cancer has shed new light on the etiology and prevention of this type of cancer. Increased awareness, early detection, and preventive measures, such as HPV vaccination and safe sexual practices, are paramount in reducing the burden of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer. By prioritizing education and encouraging regular screenings, we can work towards early diagnosis and improved outcomes for individuals affected by this preventable form of cancer.




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