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.

Continue Learning about Head & Neck Cancer Treatment

How is head and neck squamous cell carcinoma treated?
Christopher M. Garvey, MDChristopher M. Garvey, MD
Squamous cell carcinoma is by far the most common type of head and neck cancer. Squamous cells are t...
More Answers
How should I care for my mouth during radiation for head or neck cancer?
Riverside Cancer Care CenterRiverside Cancer Care Center
If you are receiving radiation therapy, it is important to take good care of your mouth. Keeping...
More Answers
Why is a dental visit needed before radiotherapy for head and neck cancer?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Of the many possible side effects of radiotherapy (radiation therapy) for head and neck cancer, oste...
More Answers
Sanford - John Lee - Does head and neck cancer always require surgery
Sanford - John Lee - Does head and neck cancer always require surgery

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.