The social stigmas and myths surrounding the human papilloma virus (HPV) could make women anxious, including raising fears about their partners' fidelity and putting them off going for cervical screening, according to research presented at Cancer Research UK's Early Diagnosis Conference in Birmingham today (Wednesday).
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A survey conducted by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has found that a “concerning” level of misunderstanding and stigma surrounding human papilloma virus could be putting women off going for life-saving cervical smear tests.
The survey, which included more than 2,000 women, found that 40% were concerned a positive result would mean their partner had been unfaithful, 40% were worried about what others may think of them having the virus and two-thirds would be worried it meant they had cancer.
The proportion of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) could be around a third, with high-risk versions of the virus accounting for almost three-quarters of those affected, indicate Taiwanese study results.
The findings also show that patients with the high-risk HPV variant HPV-18 were significantly more likely to develop secondary malignancies than their counterparts without this variant.
Cancers of the oral cavity are diagnosed after the patient presents with the symptoms of the condition. This is more often than not a long persistent lesion, swelling or ulcer within the mouth.
Early oral cancers can also be detected during a routine dental check up. Once suspected the patient is immediately referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist or a specialist in head and neck cancers.
The process of diagnosis of mouth cancer includes a medical examination, biopsy and so forth. 1-5
Cancer cells are normal cells whose DNA and genes are altered to cause them to multiply and grow abnormally.
The DNA within the cell provides it with basic set of instructions, such as when to grow and reproduce. When this changes on account of a mutation, the instructions go haywire. The uncontrolled growth of the cells lead to formation of a lump of tissue called a tumour. 1-6
What parts of the body does mouth cancer affect?
Oral cancer or mouth cancer affects the insides of the mouth, tongue, gums and lips.
Mouth cancer, or oral cancer, can occur anywhere in the mouth, on the surface of the tongue, the lips, inside the cheek, in the gums, in the roof and floor of the mouth, in the tonsils, and in the salivary glands.
It is a type of head and neck cancer and is often treated similarly to other head and neck cancers.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 48,330 Americans were expected to receive a diagnosis of oral or pharyngeal cancer in 2016, and about 9,570 deaths were predicted.
When the human papillomavirus (HPV) is found in cancer tumours of the tonsil and base of the tongue, patients are more likely to survive following treatment.
The new research, published in the British Journal of Cancer and during Mouth Cancer Awareness Month, followed 198 patients in Australia for an average of two years after they had had surgery or radiotherapy for the disease.
The researchers found that patients with HPV positive cancer were four times less likely to die than patients whose cancers weren't caused by the HPV infection.