Doctors: HPV likely cause of rising throat cancer cases in U.S.
Health officials say cases of throat cancer are on the rise and is likely because of the Human Pappiloma Virus.
HPV is spread through skin to skin contact. It is extremely common, as doctors estimate 80% of people will get the infection.
While most cases go away within a few years, some high-risk strains can cause cells to change and turn into cancerous cells that multiply.
In the U.S, HPV causes nearly 36,000 cases of cancer each year, both in men and women.
Experts believe throat cancer is expected to be the most common type of cancer among people 45 to 65.
"They didn't have the opportunity to get the Gardasil vaccine, or the vaccine against the Human Papillomavirus, so they've already been exposed," says Dr. Matthew Old, of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Ohio State University.
Dr. Old says it's important to be aware of the symptoms of back of the throat cancers, including a painless lump in the neck.
"They could also have a sore throat, troubling swallowing, weight loss or changes in their voice," says Dr. Old.
HPV can also be the cause of other types of cancer, including cervical cancer.