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01-01-2015 | Head and neck cancers | Article

2. Epidemiology of Oral HPV Infection and HPV-Associated Head and Neck Cancer

Authors: Kristina R. Dahlstrom, Erich M. Sturgis

Publisher: Springer India


Tobacco and alcohol exposure are the traditional risk factors for malignancies of the head and neck, and account for approximately three-quarters of all cases worldwide and half of the cases in the USA [1]. Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), particularly type 16, has also been established as yet another important risk factor [2–5]. The overwhelming majority of HPV-associated head and neck cancers (HPV-HNSCCs) arise from the oropharynx [2, 6]. HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) represents a growing aetiologically distinct subset of head and neck cancers, with unique epidemiological, clinical and molecular characteristics that differ from those of HPV-negative cancers.

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