The Battle Against HPV


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

Body Invaders


Imagine battling over 120 soldiers. Four are special ops. Their intent is to literally get under your 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.

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