Cancer Coach- I have recently finished treatment for HPV 16 positive Head and Neck cancer, all very positive so far. But, I am trying to get more information about the cause. Understand that oral sex could well be a significant factor, but can’t find out anything more about the future.
I am trying to find out whether I need to change behaviors – in particular, no longer indulge in oral sex. But, I have also read that the cancer may take up to 15 years to develop – this would take it back to the time of my first wife, who died of cancer in 2007.
She had cervical cancer in about 2003, and I wonder if this would have any impact.
I wonder if there is anywhere I can find out this sort of information. The oncology department has done a brilliant job in clearing up the cancer – heading for 6 months clear – but it is hard to find out more information about the future, or past causes. Especially when discussing oral sex!! Hoping someone can help me with this. Who/where should I ask?
I am sorry to read about your cancer diagnosis but you sound very positive about your diagnosis and treatment. Let me first confirm. You are talking about”P16 positive, HPV positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma?”
You are correct in wondering if your wife’s cancer was HPV related as well. While there is no way to tell at this point there is a strong link between HPV and cervical cancers. My understanding of oncology is that HPV’s impact on cancer was not well understood in 2003.
As for your question
”but it is hard to find out more information about the future, or past causes. Especially when discussing oral sex!! Hoping someone can help me with this. Who/where should I ask?”
You are correct, oncology does not study much about therapies to remain in remission.
Both of the studies lined and excerpted above indicate that HPV is strongly linked to both oropharyngeal and cervical cancers. If, as the study below indicates, you can eradicate your HPV then I think this would be a positive step for your long-term health.
“A Japanese mushroom extract appears to be effective for the eradication of human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a pilot clinical trial at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School.
Ten HPV-positive women were treated orally with the extract, AHCC (active hexose correlated compound) once daily for up to six months. Five achieved a negative HPV test result – three with confirmed eradication after stopping AHCC – with the remaining two responders continuing on the study.
Currently, there is no effective medicine or supplement to treat HPV, which is associated with more than 99 percent of cervical cancer cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several other cancers are related to HPV, including 95 percent of anal cancer, 60 percent of oropharyngeal, 65 percent of vaginal cancer, 50 percent of vulvar cancer and 35 percent of penile cancer.
AHCC is a readily available nutritional supplement that works to improve the innate immune system. Human and preclinical studies have shown that AHCC increases the number and/or activity of Natural Killer (NK) cells, dendritic cells and cytokines, which help the body fight off infections and block tumor growth.
“The results are very encouraging,” Smith said. “We were able to determine that at least three months of treatment is necessary but some need to extend that to six months. Since AHCC is a nutritional supplement with no side effects and other immune modulating benefits, we will be planning on using six months of treatment in our phase II clinical study to have consistent study treatment plan. This confirms our earlier preclinical research.”
“Objective: There is currently no effective medicine or supplement for clearance of high risk- human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infections. We have taken a systematic approach evaluating the potential use of AHCC supplementation to support clearance of HR-HPV infections. The primary objective of this research was to evaluate AHCC supplementation to modulation of the host immune system to clear HR-HPV infections from bench to bedside…
Results: HR–HPV clearance was observed in vitro and confirmed in the animal studies as a durable response. Four of six (66.7%) patients had confirmed HR-HPV clearance after 3–6 months of AHCC 3g. Similarly, 4 of 9 (44%) patients had confirmed HR-HPV clearance after 7 months of AHCC 1g. Suppression of IFNβ <25 pg/mL was observed in those clearing the HR-HPV infection.
Conclusion: Pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated durable clearance of HR-HPV infections. The preliminary data from the two pilot studies suggested that AHCC supplementation supports the host immune system for successful clearance of HR-HPV infections. A confirmatory phase II randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study is ongoing.