By Wendy Haaf
Men, especially those aged 50 to 54, are much more likely than women to have oral HPV (human papillomavirus), a viral infection that increases the likelihood of developing cancers of the mouth, upper throat, and tongue, US researchers have reported.
Men were found to be nearly seven times more likely than women to be infected with high-risk strains of HPV, according to the results of an Annals of Internal Medicine study. Funded primarily by the US National Cancer Institute, the study was based on data from more than 9,000 adults aged 18–69 who participated in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Factors linked with an increased risk include smoking and marijuana use.
To improve your odds of detecting oral cancers early, get regular dental checkups and watch for signs such as persistent sore throat, sores that won’t heal, and white patches on the tongue or mouth lining that don’t go away.