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HPV-Risks for developing oral cancer

By Anonymous April 20, 2010 - 8:56am
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I was just recently diagnosed with high risk HPV. I understand the cervical cancer part of it and prevention, but would really appreciate more info on developing oral cancer (mouth, throat, lungs). How can I monitor that and ensure that if anything does develop I'm on top of it before it becomes more serious? Can you discover precancerous cells or changes on cells before they develop into cancer? I'm really afraid of that.. .How often does it happen? What can I do?

One more question if I may. My partner infected me with HPV so we're sharing it now (how romantic, right?). Since we both already have it can we just keep having sex without protection?

Thank you so much.

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HERWriter Guide

Dear Anonymous

Thank you for your question and welcome!

I'm sorry to read you have been diagnosed with a high risk strain of HPV. Monitoring will be key for you.

There are many strains of HPV. If you are absolutely sure that it was your boyfriend who infected with you and both of you remain completely monogamous (in order that you don't get infected with additional strains) then having sex without a condom is probably ok. Check with your doctor first and remember that other STDs and pregnancy are also a risk.

It's good that you are also thinking about oral cancer. I am going to post a great article to you on HPV/Oral cancer and what to look out for. And always ask your dentist for a thorough oral exam. Dentists can be your first line of defense for many medical illnesses or conditions - from pregnancy, to HIV, to cancer to diabetes. Check out the link here: http://www.empowher.com/community/share/oral-sex-can-be-bad-your-oral-health

Here is a New York Times article on the same subject : http://www.empowher.com/news/2008/05/13/oral-cancers-linked-hpv-new-york-times

Anon - let me know what you think - does this information help you?

April 20, 2010 - 1:19pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Hi Susan,

Thank you very much for your reply. It's really comforting to be able to hear someone's perspective on this. The links are definitely useful so thank you for that as well.

Seems like the oral threat from HPV is relatively new topic in the field. I'll look into reading some of the research papers perhaps. Do you know if there is a way to catch the early changes, before they become cancer? Those are tricky locations as it is very hard to see anything in deeper in the throat, but still... Also, how often does oral cancer develop? Are there any statistics? Should I expect it to develop? Ugh... This is really terrible.

I got it from my girlfriend actually as I am gay. So to clarify, to your best knowledge you would say having sex including oral sex with her does not matter anymore as we now both have it anyways? One could argue that I might not have caught it in my mouth, but realistically that's how I probably got it in the first place. I will double check everything with my doctor of course, but I will not see him till the next week so I do appreciate your answers. Maybe it answers other people's questions as well. Plus, the more opinions the better.

Again, thank you so much for listening. Very, very much.

April 20, 2010 - 1:49pm
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