The incidence of head and neck cancers associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) is increasing, with the largest increase among middle-aged men, says a new study.
The snuff and alcohol are major risk factors for head and neck cancer, but HPV infection is sexually transmitted is becoming an important risk factor.
For the study a research team analyzed data from 40 cancer registries from 1995 to 2005 and found a significant overall increase in cancers of the head and neck areas of the body strongly associated with HPV infection, and a significant decrease of head and neck cancers at sites not associated with the virus.
The three sites associated with HPV infection are the tonsils, base of the lingual tonsil and tongue, and some parts of the oropharynx.
Younger people, whites and Hispanics showed a significant increase in incidence in sites associated with HPV during the study period.
The results suggest that because the disease process for head and neck cancers associated with HPV is different, the state of HPV tumors should be considered in treatment decisions.
The head and neck cancers include cancers of the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, salivary glands, throat or larynx (vocal cords).