This is an important update about the association between the Human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer and the link to other cancers, particularly oropharyngeal squamous-cell carcinoma. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, entitled “Human Papillomavirus and Survival of Patients with Oropharyngeal Cancer,” two specific strains of the HPV virus (HPV-16 and HPV-18) are linked to the majority of HPV – positive oropharyngeal cancer tumors. There is a growing body of evidence that HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous-cell carcinoma has a better prognosis and survival rate than HPV-negative oropharyngeal squamous-cell carcinoma. In a randomized trial of patients with oropharyngeal squamous-cell carcinoma, the overall survival was substantially better among patients with HPV-positive cancer than among patients diagnosed with HPV – negative oropharyngeal cancer tumors. Specifically, the NEJM article states that using a sample of 720 patients, the 63.8% of patients with HPV-positive tumors had a 3 year survival rate of 82% versus patients with HPV – negative tumors whose 3 year survival rate was 57%. To read more, please visit the NEJM website and click the link for the July 2010 issue.
The dentists and dental hygienists at the Greenbelt and Millersville Maryland dental offices of McCarl Dental Group attend continuing education courses regularly so that we can provide the highest quality dental care. We screen our dental patients for oral cancer as part of each routine dental visit and patient education is a high priority for us. If you ever have a dental concern, please contact our Greenbelt dental office at 301-474-4144 or our Millersville dental office at 410-987-8800.