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Question about HPV+ throat cancer and how it might be spread (Update)

cricketskid's picture
cricketskid
Posts: 25
Joined: Sep 2012

My mother had stage 4 throat cancer, her two year battle ended in October. She was HPV positive.

Now I went to the dentist on Wednesday and he said I have a mass that needs to be looked at. I did not tell him about my mother being sick and passing away.

But this is like De Ja Vue.

All my life my mother and I shared drinks. If she had a glass of tea then WE had a glass of tea. Up to the day she fell into a coma I shared my drinks with her. We were close.

I did not understand the HPV virus until after she passed and I started reading about it a little more.

I knew I had something going on in my throat/jaw area but I thought it was TMJ as I had been stressed over the last two years. Now I am worried, and the more I reflect on the last 6 to 9 months I can see more and more the same things my mother was going through before she was diagnosed.

SO THE QUESTION:

Could my mothers active HPV virus have spread to me through drinking after her?

I know you are not doctors but I need some sort of someone to vent my worries to as my whole family has been through so much.

My symptoms:

Something feels stuck in the very back of my throat.

Under my jaw hurts, like a pressure pain.

My right ear rings and I can't get rid of this headache.

 *************UPDATE******************

Went to my GP today. After looking and feeling and poking for what seemed a lifetime, GP says there is def something going on, Blood test done and waiting for results. He said he wont send me to a ENT until I do one cycle of antibiotics. He says he need to rule out infection but does not think that is what is going on. He felt the "Mass" under my jaw and could see a slight buldge in my sinus cavity.  Put me on something to coat my throat(little pearls) and numb it. He took a swab of the gross nasty tasting drainage and said that is not mucus. So now I wait, He said to call him in a week if the mass has not gotten smaller and he would get me into an ENT, but to follow up with him in two weeks anyway.

He also ran a test for Fanconi Anemia, which my mother had.

When I got on the scale today I was schocked to see I had lost 15lbs since christmas. I knew I had lost some but no clue it was that much.

Anyway, that is my update.

GP is concerned, told me to just take it easy for the next couple of weeks because if it is cancer I wil need all my energy. DUH

NJShore's picture
NJShore
Posts: 411
Joined: Nov 2012

i am saddened to hear about your mom, I am sorry you had to lose her, it sounds as if you were very close.

HPV virus' usually take decades to turn into cancer, and that would be the norm. I don't have a medical degree, so not exactly sure if there would be exceptions to that rule.

you should probably get to see an ENT as soon as possible. I hope you have nothing more than a blocked gland.

Keep us posted, we will be here if you need to Share or vent... Now there we are almost professionals :)

take care, Kari

cricketskid's picture
cricketskid
Posts: 25
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks for the reply. I did not relize it to years for HPV to turn into cancer. That is good news.

I am going on Monday to the doctor and I hope he will refer me to an ENT if he feels the need.

 

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3007
Joined: May 2012

Cricketskid,

 

I am sorry to hear about your Mother.

 

It is highly unlikely that your Mother passed the HPV to you through sharing tea.  It generally is transmitted by other means and like Kari mentioned, HPV cancer is a slow grower, often taking many years before it shows it self.

 

Now your symptoms are something to have an ENT doctor look at.  Generally, it takes a visit to your GP before being transferred to an ENT.  The sooner you have it looked at the sooner you find out it is nothing.

 

Good luck,

 

Matt

cricketskid's picture
cricketskid
Posts: 25
Joined: Sep 2012

Yes I am going to my GP first then if he thinks I need to I will see an ENT.

I may be looking into my issues so indepth due to my mothers recent battle. However, I know my body and I know something is going on and so many of the things I am going through are the same things my mother had and she waited to long to get them addressed.

So better safe than sorry.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8094
Joined: Sep 2009

Like mentioned, doubtful that HPV would have been spread from your mother...

Actual estimates say the 80% of the population in the 35-55 range have been exposed to HPV... usually your body rids it, sometimes it doesn't and as mentioned, it might take decades to become HPV derived cancer...

I'd get checked with an ENT as sson as you can for your own anxiety...

More than likely it's not cancer...as we all say here, it's not cancer until the MD says it is...

Also, concerning the HPV, your ENT can't really Dx HPV other than a biopsy, and a pretty exact area.... Even if you did have HPV, or HPV derived cancer, there is no way to determine when, whom or where you might have been exposed...

Best,

John 

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

That you got HPV from your mom. This could be nothing more than a virus but I am glad you are having it checked out. If for no other reason than to ease your mind. That being said, I'd request a visit with the ENT even if your MD doesn't think it's necessary. Here's why, as I said it's probably nothing serious but many of us had gone to our GP's and been told to take antibiotics and then another round of antibiotics and then sent to the ENT only to try more antibiotics. Then after nothing seemed to help, CT scans and "oh wow, what's that" shows up on the scan! Seeing how you have a history in your moms case I think going to the ENT sooner rather than later would be a good idea. If your GP doesn't know about your mom I'd make sure to tell him/her and that way maybe it'll make the referral to the ENT seem more reasonable.
Keep in mind however that the only way to know if you have HPV related cancer is thru a biopsy and in order to justify a biopsy they'd need a CT.

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your mom but please don't worry yourself crazy that you too have "it". Just be adamant about getting to the cause of your "mass" for peace of mind if nothing else. The positive part if me says it's nothing more than a virus or blocked gland.

Keep us posted and ask us as many questions as you like, we may not be
doctors but we have all learned so much about H&N issues along the way :-)
Try not to worry and stress over all of this. It's not cancer until they say it is!
I have a friend who had pain, swelling, and stiffness in her jaw and neck area. She had herself convinced that she had what I had but it turns out she ended up having mono! Our minds play terrible tricks on us....don't go there.

Take care,
Billie

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1533
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Crkcketskid

I agree with what the others say about going to an ENT.  The ENT will have the necessary equipment (a scope) and the expertise to quickly identify if there is an issue.

A co-worker recently had her dentist identify an area in her upper throat that needed checking.  Coworker was devastated, owing to the fact that her mom had passed from Head/Neck and also that she had watched my battle.  Turned out to be something benign, and not cancer. It's not cancer until someone says it's cancer.

Deb

sassysrice's picture
sassysrice
Posts: 117
Joined: Nov 2012

Sorry to hear about your mom and am hoping for the best for you.

My understanding about HPV is from what I researched and from my daughters Ped. When my daughter was 11 her ped. Dr asked if I wanted her vacinated against HPV with gardacil. HPV used to only cause cervical and ovarnin cancer. Now, last 10 years it has caused about 50% of H&N cancers.  So now boys are also given the vaccine. HPV is sexually transmitted, so you need to the vaccine even before kids kiss to prevent it.

Now that I know more about HPV and I am here on this site because my boyfriend has BOT HPV+. I will have my daughter vaccinated now at 13.

So you probrably already have HPV since almost every adult has it. Cancer does not always develope.

Sue

 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8094
Joined: Sep 2009

I think that HPV in HNC has been around for awhile, it's just been attributed to HNC within the last few years... Estimates are that it will overtake Tobacco related HNC within the next few years.

I don't think (could be wrong), that Gardacil will prevent HPV, but it will help in the prevention..

There are a few folks here that have gotten Gardasil after having went through treatment to help in not getting it again.

Best ~ John

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

With the others, I'm hoping it's a gland issue.  Good to hear you've already got an appointment to see your GP - I'd definately tell him/her about Mom, and explain my concern.

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