Spikes in Male Oral Cancer

HPV-16 now leading cause of oral cancer in men

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The human papillomavirus (HPV) has long been recognized as the cause of cervical cancer in women. This virus is now causing more oral cancers in men.

Having oral sex with multiple partners increases the risk of men developing oral cancer. Being exposed to the HPV-16 virus strain is what's causing this disturbing trend of new cases.

"Visit the dentist regularly for oral cancer screenings."

Oral cancer most commonly results from smoking. The deadly cancer's demographic profile is changing these days to non-smoking, primarily white males under the age of 40.

Dr. Eric M. Genden, professor and chair of head and neck surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center said in a recent New York Daily News article that risky behavior includes having oral sex with multiple - five or six - partners.

A number of articles and reports from leading medical journals and reseach institutions say HPV is now the leading cause of oral cancer in men. The virus known to cause genital warts and cervical cancer in women now causes more oral cancers in men than smoking and drinking.

Smoking rates have declined in the United States, but oral cancers have recently started to increase. According to the American Cancer Society estimates:

  • 2010 Oral cancers (OC), both sexes: 36,540; 2011 - 39,400
  • 2010 OC male: 25,420; 2011 - 27,710

Oral cancers are often diagnosed late. Signs and symptoms include a lump on the neck or tongue or persistent hoarseness. If caught early, surviving HPV-related oral cancer is 85 to 90 percent.

One of the best ways to catch oral cancer in its earliest stages is to have regular dental visits. Your dentist performs thorough oral exams and has screening techniques to detect this cancer.

An estimated 7,900 American will die from oral cancer in 2011, according to the American Cancer Society.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 24, 2011
Last Updated:
July 26, 2011