HPV Vaccines Prevent Head & Neck Cancers

Last Modified: January 14, 2010

Question:

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Does the same HPV cause oral & cervical cancer and does the vaccine protect you against oral HPV?

Answer:

Harry Quon, MD, MS (CRM), Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

There are many subtypes of HPV viruses much like the flu virus. The answer is that the subtypes that cause cervical cancer has also been the same ones that are strongly associated with oropharynx cancer. We don't know how effective the vaccines that have been used for cervix cancer are against oropharyngeal cancers right now.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, How Much Do You Know About HPV? View the entire transcript here.

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