What is HPV?

HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus, a group of  around 200 viruses that affect the skin and moister areas of the body such as the cervix, anus, mouth and throat.

HPV is usually passed on through sexual or skin-to-skin contact. It causes 5% of all cancers in men and women as well as other diseases. HPV is extremely common and most adults will have had HPV at some point. For the majority of people their body's immune system will take care of it without any symptoms or illness.  

There are, however, a few strains of the virus which are deemed “high risk” as they can lead to warts on the hands, genitals and anus, and in some cases can lead to cancer. Much research has been done to establish the link between HPV and cervical cancer and HPV is estimated to cause nearly all cases of cervical cancer.

The medical community now also recognises the links between HPV and other cancers - notably Oropharyngeal Cancer, Anal Cancer, Penis Cancer, Vulvar Cancer and Vaginal Cancer. 

We have produced guides to help those diagnosed with a HPV-related throat cancer and also medical professionals who are involved with diagnosing and treating these cancers.

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There are several different types of cancer which can affect the throat, mouth, neck and chest.

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