The Battle Against HPV

ESTIMATE 6-MINUTE READ

The virus that causes oral cancer shares characteristics with cervical cancer.

⚠️ Use discretion. Graphic human anatomy images.
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Imagine battling over 120 soldiers. Four are special ops. Their intent is to literally get under ’s skin—a goal already achieved in more than three quarters of their targets. The promi­nent human papilloma­virus soldiers go by the names HPV-16, HPV-18, HPV-31, and HPV-45. They invade the skin with nearly invisible and often flat cancer-causing growths.

The Attack

The most dangerous attackers, HPV-16 and HPV-18, thrive in the genital tract and oral mucosa such as the back of the tongue, the oropharynx, tonsils and the tonsillar pillars; they are respon­sible for 70 percent of cervical cancers. HPV-6 and HPV-11 frequently appear as raised non-cancerous warts on the arms, legs and other skin areas. The most common types are HPV-1, 2 and 4, which cause warts on the hands (palmar warts) and feet (plantar warts).

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