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How does oral human papillomavirus (HPV) cause head and neck cancer?

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When HPV infects cells, it causes them to physically change. If your immune system can’t fight the infection, those changes can lead to tumors. They usually develop in the throat, near the tonsils, at the back of the roof of the mouth, or at base of the tongue.

From: Oral HPV and Cancer WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CDC: “Human papillomavirus (HPV) and Oropharyngeal Cancer – Fact Sheet.

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “HPV and Head and Neck Cancer.”

Oral Cancer Foundation: “HPV/Oral Cancer Facts.”

Mount Sinai Hospital: “Human HPV and Throat/Oral Cancer, Frequently Asked Questions.”

Harvard Health: “How to boost your immune system.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on September 17, 2017

SOURCES:

CDC: “Human papillomavirus (HPV) and Oropharyngeal Cancer – Fact Sheet.

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “HPV and Head and Neck Cancer.”

Oral Cancer Foundation: “HPV/Oral Cancer Facts.”

Mount Sinai Hospital: “Human HPV and Throat/Oral Cancer, Frequently Asked Questions.”

Harvard Health: “How to boost your immune system.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on September 17, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

Can vaccines help prevent head and neck cancers from HPV?

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