Doctors report increase in HPV-related cancers

VIDEO: Doctors report increase in HPV-related cancers

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Doctors at Trident Health say they are seeing a significant rise in patients with cancer related to the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV.

HPV is one of the more common sexually-transmitted diseases in the country. This virus is associated with the development of several cancers including cervical cancer.

Over the past 10 years, doctors have found it’s also associated with a number of head and neck cancers. And in the last few years, they’ve seen a dramatic increase in these cancers.

“It’s a very treatable disease," Trident Health Dr. Todd Williams said. "The head and neck HPV cancers [do very well] with the treatments. The survival rates are excellent. That’s one good thing. Even though it’s a virally-associated cancer, the results that we get are quite good.”

Doctors say the best thing to do though is prevention with the vaccine.

The vaccine for the virus is typically encouraged for teenagers, but doctors say anyone up to about 45 years old can be eligible for the vaccine.

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