I’m sure that mostly every female student on campus has heard about HPV — if you haven’t, you should really think about making an appointment with your family doctor.
Being a passionate person about medicine, I try to learn as much as I can about health care and medical research. For this reason, I read medical journals and religiously watch the new tv show, The Doctors. However, on today’s show (November 3rd), my eye’s were opened by a new study dealing with the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Recent studies indicate that oral sex is nine times more likely to cause oral cancers than smoking and drinking combined. The American Cancer Society states that 39% of current cases or oral cancers are linked to HPV. This is not only a health risk for women; it is a health risk for men, as well.
So, for those of you who think oral sex is safe, think again.
According to medical journals and the show’s OBGYN, Dr. Lisa, “all individuals who have a history of six or more oral sex partners were three times as likely to develop the cancer as people who report that they had never had oral sex.”
So much for all those drunken weekend nights after going to Harry’s and waking up with a visitor in your bed the next morning!
Dr. Bill Dofman, co-founder of Discus Dental, and the featured dentist on Extreme Makeover added, “Oral cancer is more prevalent than cervical cancer.”
Experts hope that the latest research will create awareness of HPY to the public.
Detection for oral cancer starts in the dentist chair. (I know, it’s a strange place and normally you would think dentists clean teeth and fill cavities!) Strangely enough, dentists are perfect for giving patients oral exams.
Dr. Dorfman expresssed a specific device that is important in detecting the issue, the VELscope system. The VELscope system is a machine that uses a blue light to check for abnormal mucosal tissue in the mouth.
Dr. Dorfman warns, “If you have a sore in your mouth for more than two weeks and it doesn’t go away, you need to have it looked at and most likely biopsied.”
This makes me wonder, “Does the HPV vaccination, GARDASIL, help prevent the types of HPV causing cervical cancer?”
Doctors aren’t sure yet, but when they find out…I’ll be sure to let all of you know as well!
photo courtesy of http://images.teamsugar.com/files/users/0/6066/44_2007/hpv.jpg