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How are head and neck cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) treated?

While HPV has most been linked to cervical, anus and skin cancers, recent studies suggest the same strain of HPV can also cause oropharyngeal (head and neck) cancer.

Oropharyngeal cancer develops in the part of the throat including the back of the tongue, back part of the roof of the mouth, the tonsils, and the side and back wall of the throat.

Historically, people who get head and neck cancer are older – over 70 – and have been heavy smokers or drinkers. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in head and neck cancer in young, otherwise healthy men and women.

Treatment for head and neck cancer may include transoral robotic surgery (TORS). TORS, which was invented at Penn Medicine, is the world’s first group of minimally invasive robotic surgery techniques enabling surgeons to remove tumors of the mouth and throat. This revolutionary breakthrough results in shorter, virtually scarless head and neck surgery. TORS is performed through the patient’s mouth and provides unprecedented access to the small and often difficult-to-reach areas of the mouth and throat.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.