Vital Signs: Human papillomavirus vaccine is cancer prevention

Author: Brenna Robertson Source: In a world of pandemics, vaccines, tests, and what feel like new threats to our health and safety every day, it is sometimes important to look back and review the basics of our personal health. This is particularly applicable when we think of infections that very easily spread from person to person. One such infection is the human papillomavirus (HPV). What is HPV? HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a group of more than 200 viruses, some of which can cause cancers, including cervical, oropharyngeal and anal cancer. About 75% of HPV-type viruses can cause warts or papillomas (non-cancerous tumors), while the other 25% affect mucosal areas such as the vagina, penis, anus and mouth. Although HPV causes more than 99% of cervical cancer cases, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) states about 70% of oropharyngeal cancer is linked to HPV infections in the mouth and upper throat. Screening is important HPV impacts anyone of any gender, and anyone of any age can develop cancer after infection. It is so common, the CDC reports, that nearly everyone will get an HPV infection at some point in life. Because the virus can go undetected, it can put people at risk of developing cancer or unknowingly spreading the infection. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women start pap screenings at age 21. Early detection of oropharyngeal cancer is possible with routine mouth and upper throat screenings, so individuals should talk to their [...]

2022-07-26T09:12:30-07:00July, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Throat cancer survivor: Why I’m an HPV vaccine advocate and a MyCancerConnection Volunteer

Author: George Brownfield Source: By the time I was diagnosed with HPV-related throat cancer in the summer of 2014, I’d been working as a senior systems analyst at MD Anderson for more than 20 years. I’d seen some of the incredible things our doctors were doing for people and was very aware of our reputation. So, there was never any doubt about where I’d be going for throat cancer treatment. Once I was cancer-free, I realized I wanted to pay it forward. That’s why I started volunteering through myCancerConnection, MD Anderson’s one-on-one cancer support community for patients and caregivers. I also became a vocal advocate for vaccinating kids against HPV. My throat cancer diagnosis The ear, nose and throat specialist who initially diagnosed me was very timid about telling me why my lymph nodes were swollen. The only thing he ever really stated plainly was that I needed to get to MD Anderson. As a result, I wasn’t even sure I had throat cancer until I met with surgical oncologist Dr. Amy Hessel. She was clear and precise about my diagnosis, but also very comforting. She told me that the cancer was stage I, and she knew exactly how to treat it. I was going to be fine. I felt such a sense of relief. The cancer was mainly in my left aryepiglottic fold and piriform sinus. That's the first part of the swallowing tube, which acts sort of like a funnel in directing food to the esophagus. Dr. [...]

2022-06-14T07:23:58-07:00June, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Padres Hall of Famer Randy Jones Battling Throat Cancer

Source: Author: Mark Saunders Posted: Jan 26, 2017 SAN DIEGO - Legendary San Diego Padres pitcher Randy Jones is battling throat cancer, the team's website announced Thursday. Jones was reportedly diagnosed in November 2016 and has been undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments since December at Sharp's Hospital. "I feel positive," Jones said told the Padre's Bill Center. "They caught it early. It's all in the throat and not in the lymph nodes. I'm beating this thing." Jones said he used chewing tobacco as a player and has smoked cigars throughout his adult life. "I've completed 90 percent of my treatment," Jones told Center. He added that his physicians have said his cancer is linked to tobacco use. He also said his cancer is low-risk. Since his playing days he has remained heavily involved with the team. He is a spokesperson for the team and a local radio and television personality. The Friars drafted Jones in 1972, during the 5th round of the amateur draft. Jones pitched for the Padres from 1973-1980. He recorded a 3.42 ERA and 735 strikeouts through his career. He was the first Padre to win the National League Cy Young Award and the first Padre to start an All-Star Game. He was a National League all-star in 1975 and 1976, when he led the NL in ERA in 1975 and led in wins in 1976. Jones' number was retired by the team in 1997 and two years later, he was a member of the Padre's first Hall [...]

2017-01-26T13:50:37-07:00January, 2017|Oral Cancer News|

Cancer-Preventing Vaccines Given To Less Than Half Of US Kids

Source: Author: Carrie Feibel U.S. regulators approved a vaccine to protect against the human papilloma virus (HPV) in 2006, but cancer experts say misconceptions and stigma continue to hamper acceptance by both doctors and parents. Eighty percent of Americans are exposed to the human papilloma virus in their lifetimes. Some strains of HPV can cause genital warts, but most people experience no symptoms and clear the virus from their systems within a year or two. But for an unlucky minority, the virus causes damage that, years later, leads to cervical cancer, throat cancer, and other types. Researchers at MD Anderson are frustrated that ten years after the first vaccine arrived on the market, only 42 percent of U.S. girls, and 28 percent of boys, are getting the three-shot series. The series can be given to girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 26, but the immune response is strongest at younger ages, before sexual activity begins. n 2007, then-Texas governor Rick Perry proposed making the HPV vaccine mandatory for all preteen girls.  At the time, the vaccine was only approved and marketed for girls. Dr. Lois Ramondetta, a cervical cancer specialist at MD Anderson, remembers the outcry. “A lot of people felt that was the right idea, but the wrong way to go about it. Nobody really likes being told what to do, especially in Texas,” Ramondetta said. “I think there was a lot of backlash.” Eventually, the legislature rejected Perry’s plan, even though it included an opt-out [...]

2016-09-27T11:19:43-07:00September, 2016|Oral Cancer News|

California Raises Smoking Age To 21

Source: www.huffingtonpost.comAuthor: Huffington Post Staff  The law makes it the second state to raise the minimum age to 21, following Hawaii.   SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - California will raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 from 18 under a bill signed on Wednesday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, part of a package of anti-smoking measures that also regulates electronic cigarettes. Under five bills signed into law on Wednesday, California will ban the sale of vaping products or tobacco to anyone under the age of 21, imposing a fine of up to $5,000 against companies that violate the law. “It is long past due for California to update our approach to tobacco,” said Steven Larson, president of the California Medical Association. “There has been an alarming rise in the use of e-cigarettes by teens, putting them at risk for lifelong addiction.” Under the measures, electronic cigarettes will be regulated like traditional ones. That means that wherever cigarettes are banned, such as in restaurants, workplaces and public areas, use of e-cigarettes will also be prohibited. The state will also expand its funding for anti-smoking programs under the bills. Brown stopped short of allowing local counties to impose their own tobacco taxes, noting in his veto message that several proposed new taxes would be placed before voters on the November ballot. *This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

2016-05-05T12:59:24-07:00May, 2016|Oral Cancer News|

Cancer-causing HPV plummeted in teens since vaccine, study finds

Source: www.cnn.comAuthor: Sarina Storres  (CNN)The human papillomavirus vaccine was first recommended for adolescent girls in the United States in 2006. Since that time, the prevalence of the cancer-causing virus has been dropping among young women, according to a new study. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared the rates of HPV infection in women 14 to 34 years of age during the years before the vaccine was recommended, between 2003 and 2006, with the most recent years for which data are available, 2009 to 2012. Among girls 14 to 19 years old, rates of infection with the four types of HPV included in the 4vHPV vaccine decreased from 11.5% to 4.3%. There was also a drop, although smaller, in women 20 to 24 years old, from 18.5% to 12.1%. Among the older groups, women ages 25 to 29 and 30 to 34, the prevalence of these HPV types did not change and was about 12% and 9%, respectively. "These results are very encouraging and show the effectiveness of the vaccine," said Dr. Lauri E. Markowitz, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC and lead author of the study, which was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. "Eventually we expect to see decreases in HPV in older groups as women who were young (enough to get the vaccine) age," Markowitz added. Among the 14- to 24-year-old women in the study who were sexually active, rates of infection with the HPV types in the vaccine was only 2.1% among those [...]

2016-02-23T12:35:48-07:00February, 2016|Oral Cancer News|

ASTRO: Study maps distinct molecular signatures of HPV-positive throat cancer patients by smoking status

Source: www.dotmed.comAuthor: ASTRO Scottsdale, Ariz., February 18, 2016, ASTRO -- Throat cancer patients exposed to both human papillomavirus (HPV) and tobacco smoke demonstrate a pattern of mutations along several key cancer genes, according to research presented today at the 2016 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium. These distinct molecular profiles of heavy and light smokers who develop HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) may inform decisions related to treatment intensity by establishing additional prognostic criteria for this subset of patients. Researchers examined the molecular characteristics of OPSCC caused by HPV in an effort to determine which DNA mutations predict lower disease free and survival rates among HPV-positive throat cancer patients who smoke. Whereas most patients with OPSCC caused by HPV have an excellent prognosis for disease free survival, those who also smoke generally face more dire prognoses. The 66 cases of HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) in this study were split into heavy and light smoking behavior groups based on pack years. This metric of smoking frequency over long stretches of time is determined by multiplying the number of years a person has smoked by their average number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day. Forty of the 66 patients reported more than 10 pack years (e.g., more than one pack per day for 10 years or two packs per day for five years), and 26 patients reported fewer than 10 pack years. “Throat cancer patients who smoked and had a history of fewer than 10 pack years had significantly [...]

2016-02-22T12:34:20-07:00February, 2016|Oral Cancer News|

Possible marker for recurring HPV-linked oropharyngeal cancers

Source: www.eureka.orgAuthor: John Hopkins Media Contact: Vanessa Wasta A look-back analysis of HPV infection antibodies in patients treated for oropharyngeal (mouth and throat) cancers linked to HPV infection suggests at least one of the antibodies could be useful in identifying those at risk for a recurrence of the cancer, say scientists at The Johns Hopkins University. A report on the study is published in the February issue of Cancer Prevention Research. HPV infections, which are virtually all sexually transmitted, are responsible for the recent rise in the incidence of oropharyngeal cancers in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute, and now account for about 80 percent of these cancers. People with HPV-positive tumors of the throat, base of the tongue and tonsils have higher overall survival rates compared to people with similar tumors not caused by HPV, but studies show that more than 25 percent of HPV-positive cancers recur--usually within the first two years after treatment. "There are currently no reliable tests available to detect early recurrence, so we hope to find a biological marker that could help identify those most at risk," says Carole Fakhry, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. For the new study, Fakhry and her colleagues focused their attention on the antibodies, or immune system protein the body produces to fight HPV-related cancer proteins. One such antibody, called E6, is strongly linked to the diagnosis [...]

2016-02-08T12:03:57-07:00February, 2016|OCF In The News, Oral Cancer News|

Depressed Head and Neck Cancer Patients Have Lower Survival and Higher Recurrence Risk

Source: www.OncologyNurseAdvisor.comAuthor: Kathy Boltz, PhD Depression is a significant predictor of 5-year survival and recurrence in patients with head and neck cancer, according to a new study published in Pyschosomatic Medicine (doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000256). These findings represent one of the largest studies to report on the impact of depression on cancer survival. Although depression can have obvious detrimental effects on a person's quality of life, its impact on cancer patients is more apparent, explained lead author Eileen Shinn, PhD, assistant professor of Behavioral Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston. Increasing evidence shows modest associations between elevated symptoms of depression and greater risk for mortality among patients with lung, breast, ovarian, and kidney cancers. The research team sought to clarify the influence of depression on survival, focusing their analysis on a single cancer type. By limiting the sample set and adjusting for factors known to affect outcome, such as age, tumor size, and previous chemotherapy, they were able to uncover a more profound impact of depression. The researchers followed 130 patients at MD Anderson with newly diagnosed oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), a type of cancer in which the tumor originates at the back of the throat and base of the tongue. At the beginning of their radiation therapy, Patients completed a validated questionnaire at the beginning of their radiation therapy to identify symptoms of clinical depression. Researchers monitored the participants, all of whom completed treatment, until their last clinic visit or death, a median period of [...]

2015-12-30T18:15:58-07:00December, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

Baseball and tobacco are a deadly mix

Source: www.bostonglobe.comAuthors: Dr. Howard Koh & Dr. Alan C. Woodward  Unhealthy as it looks: David Ortiz spat out his “chew” after flying out against Tampa Bay in Game 3 of the 2008 ALCS at Fenway Park.   Search the web for the phrase “tobacco and baseball” and you’ll find an association that dates back almost to the beginning of the sport. In the late 1800s, tobacco companies debuted baseball cards in cigarette packs. By the early 1900s, Bull Durham was advertising its chewing tobacco product on outfield fences. Today, cigarette smoking is prohibited or restricted in all Major League parks. Still, players, coaches, and others use smokeless tobacco, often referred to as “chew” or “dip,” in virtually every stadium across the country. But tobacco that is “smokeless” is not “harmless.” It contains at least 28 carcinogens and causes oral, pancreatic, and esophageal cancer, along with serious health problems such as heart disease, gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth lesions. The longstanding link between tobacco and baseball has led to tragic outcomes, for players and young fans alike. Baseball legend Babe Ruth died at age 53 of throat cancer after decades of dipping and chewing. Last summer, former Red Sox pitching great Curt Schilling announced that he had been treated for oral cancer, which he attributed to three decades of chewing tobacco. Sadly, his news came shortly after the death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, at age 54, after a lengthy fight with salivary gland cancer. Gwynn, too, attributed his [...]

2015-08-06T10:44:44-07:00August, 2015|Oral Cancer News|
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