Feb 02, 2010 - 10:46 am
At what point in your diagnosis/treatment process were you informed about the potential significance of the HPV virus to mouth and throat cancers? Never? During follow-up on that first discovery of a metastatic tumor? By your PCP? By your oncologist? Radiologist?
Perhaps I'm expecting too much too soon. A 3-cm lymph node was removed (Jan 20th) by my ENT doc, I was given the surprise diagnosis of Mets SCC on Jan 27th, and I'm STILL waiting for permission from my insurance company for the PET-CT. Multiple nasal scopings have not yet revealed a primary.
I raised the subject yesterday with my GP/OBGYN, who treated me for HPV infection many years ago, and he dismissed the idea, saying HPV causes anal and cervical cancer, and not to worry my pretty little head about it. I have a MedLine article about HPV and HN cancers, I'm attaching a dinosaur sticker, and I'm leaving it with his nurse today.
I sent an email to my ENT on Saturday, asking him to have my excised mets SCC tested for the presence of HPV. I have not yet even received the courtesy of a reply. Not even to my follow-up calls. Have I jumped the gun here? Is this, perhaps, an oncologist's job rather than the ENT? I am convinced that the knowledge of whether my tumor is HPV+ will help guide my ENT in his search for the primary and for more mets.
Who WILL my PCP be? Will it be the ENT who found the thing? My family practioner? Is it my choice? At what point should I leave the stone age, and head for UC Davis or Stanford? I'm going to have to change my screen name to "woefully ignorant."