Head and neck malignancies represent the sixth most frequent type of cancer currently in worldwide statistics. Of these, oral and pharyngeal cancers have steadily increased, being linked with the increase in HPV infection pandemic. This rise is not due to one cause, but rather multiple factors such as lifestyle and sexual behavior pattern changes and globalization. Because of the anatomy of the oral cavity and oropharynx, the proper diagnosis is easily delayed, and patients present with advanced stage disease, which requires aggressive and extensive surgery along with neck dissection and chemoradiotherapy. Patients with advanced stage disease have a high recurrence risk with a low 5-year survival rate. Preventing the HPV infection is of course desirable, but right now, for adults which already are infected and have a higher risk of developing HPV-related neoplasias, as well as for our head and neck cancer patients, alternative treatment algorithms are necessary.
Part of the book: Human Papillomavirus