Making a bad cancer worse
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
The virus that causes cervical cancer – human papillomavirus, or HPV – also raises the risk of head and neck cancer. And researchers at the University of Michigan say head and neck cancer patients with HPV who smoke have things worse. Thomas Carey says they are at much greater risk that the cancer will come back even if treatment seemed to work. He bases this on data on about 125 patients with advanced cancer.
So Carey says:
"Head and neck cancer is traditionally associated with smoking. If you are infected with HPV and you smoke, you are asking for a worse cancer than you might develop just from being infected with a high-risk virus alone." (12 seconds)
The study in the journal Clinical Cancer Research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: November 21, 2011