Throat and neck cancers now associated with HPV

Doctors at Carle Foundation Hospital say throat and neck cancers in men are now being linked to human papilloma virus, or HPV.

Doctors at Carle Foundation Hospital say throat and neck cancers in men are now being linked to human papilloma virus, or HPV.

Oncologist Kalika Sarma says they're seeing the cancer in HPV patients as young as 40-years-old. In the past, these cancers were mostly associated with heavy drinkers and smokers.

Doctors recommend the HPV vaccine for both males and females, which is available for those between the ages 9 through 26. The recommended ages for getting the vaccine, however, is between 11 and 12-years-old.

They also say early detection is key.

"A lot of times patients don’t have any symptoms as such, other than swelling on the neck,” Dr. Sarma said. “And they just have to be aware there may be something more going on than just swelling of the neck."

Some good news, however, is that Dr. Sarma says these neck and throat tumors are treatable with chemotherapy and radiation, and they're not typically seeing it come back a second time.

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