Can The Human Papillomavirus Cause Oral Cancer?
It can cause cervical cancer and other cancers of the genitals and reproductive areas, but can the human papillomavirus cause oral cancer? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is one of the most common types of STD's. Certain strains of it cause cancer, while other strains simply lead to genital warts or no symptoms at all.
The human papillomavirus is not the only cause of oral cancer, but it may be responsible for the rise in oral cancer seen in the beginning of the 21st century. Drinking alcohol and using tobacco, such as smoking, used to be the primary cause of oral cancer, including cancers of the throat and mouth. Of the more than 100 types of human papillomavirus, only two are believed to cause oral cancer, types 16 and 18.
You can get human papillomavirus in your mouth by engaging in unprotected oral sex with an infected partner. While not 100 percent effective, you can take steps to protect yourself against HPV and oral cancer by using protection, such as a condom or dental dam, anytime you have oral sex. Having only one partner also reduces your risk. The only way to protect yourself from HPV completely is to never engage in oral sex or any type of sex with anyone.
Oral cancer caused by the human papillomavirus may not have any symptoms, depending on where in the throat it is located. If the cancer is in the vocal cords, you may experience a hoarse voice. You may also experience a sore throat or coughing, but these symptoms can easily be confused with another condition, such as a cold.