Oncology (General Cancer)/HPV


QUESTION: I have a question about HPV and Oral cancer. I have been with my girlfriend for about 7 years now, I haven't been unfaithful and i'm very sure she hasn't either. She was tested for changes in cells but it came out so that the test was wrong and she didn't have any changes, she went to regular checkups anyway for 2 years time with positive results. I on the other hand developed Condyloma 2 times during a span of 2 years in my pubic area, which is now gone. She is the only one I have had regular oral sex with (almost not at all with previous girlfriends). She were with guys before me so my question is if she could be having the dangerous HPV- virus (with risk for tonsilar cancer and the back of the tongue), not presenting itself in her but passed on to me during oral sex, a HPV-virus she got from some of her previous partners?

ANSWER: It certainly is possible that she is a "carrier".  Some people harbor the virus for many years before anything happens.  We know that some forms of cervical cancer are caused by HPV, and they don't show up for many years after exposure to the virus.  Your best bet would be to be tested, and she should be as well.  If you are positive, there is some evidence that vaccine therapy may help.  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ok, but I thought men couldn't be tested for HPV? Especially in the mouth/throat?

When she get's tested for HPV, can you se which virus she are carrying (if she has any I mean), I mean a dangerous or a less dangerous?

I also thought the vaccine just helped if you had it before you have sex for the first time?

Should we stop from having oral sex until she has been tested?

She went for regular checkups for about three years just to be sure (because they first thought she had cell changes) without anything being suspicious. Shouldn't they have tested for HPV then (she wasn't sure they did)

Is the fear of throat cancer a relevant concern?

You can be tested.  as for stopping oral sex, it doesn't matter at this point.  The vaccine is indicated to prevent HPV, but there is some experimental evidence that it might help established cases -- although not as effective as preventing it.  As for the checkups, I don't know the policy of your doctors.  HPV isn't routinely tested for unless there are indications.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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