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? for HPV+'s

sassysrice's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: Nov 2012

For anyone with a parter with HNC that is HPV+,
have they themselves develope that cancer too? I have been reading about HPV and it is becoming almost the leading cause of HNC and HPV is transmitted sexually. I was just wondering is anyone was diagnosised after a loved one was.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

HPV derived H&N Cancer is definitely on the rise...

But having HPV or having been exposed to HPV does not mean that you will get cancer.

If you look at the recent news concerning HPV among the general population 40 - 50 years old. It is said that nearly 70 - 80% of the general population has had or been exposed to HPV.

It is not curable, but usually the body clears itself within a few years given no immune system weakness.

So with that, if everyone that has had or been expose, your thinking would mean that that same population would also develope H&N Cancer....

HPV and Cancer are two different things, having one isn't a given that you'll get the other.

Also, from my understanding, those that have HPV derived H&N Cancer, the HPV is thought to be cleared during treatment.

As for diagnosing HPV, other than in women and cervical exams, I don't believe there is any method to test for HPV in men and women.

Though I have seen some mention of oral swapping during routine dental exams, but not sure if that is for HPV, or oral cancer.


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4320
Joined: May 2012


No, my wife is clear.

Using my virus as an example (because it did turn cancerous); you could give my virus to a number of people and not all would develop cancer (as I did). Some people have a more robust immune system than I do and their body would rid itself of the .virus

I can track my sexual history very accurately and believe I was exposed to the virus about 35-years ago. HPV is a slow grower and stealthy, it hides inside the affected cells. In most cases you don’t know anything is wrong until the virus makes an appearance (spot, ulcer, sore, wart) or in my case a swollen lymph node which sparked me into action. The problem is, once the virus is known, it may already be cancer.

The tricky part is being able to develop a method for testing that will identify the location of and the strain type of the virus prior to developing cancer. Presently, blood tests are out because the virus hides inside of the cell and a doctor could be looking directly at it and not know there is a virus present (it is not visible yet). If you could know that HPV was present, you would also need to know what strain, since not all strains cause cancer.

I have to believe that my combinations of treatments (surgery, radiation and Erbitux) killed the virus and rid me of the cancer. In worst case it did not, in best case it takes another 35 years to develop cancer.



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