Rethinking the Head and Neck Cancer Population

Carlin Callaway

papillomavirus, head and neck cancer, head and neck neoplasms
CJON 2011, 15(2), 165-170. DOI: 10.1188/11.CJON.165-170

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the tenth most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in males worldwide. Although the incidence of HNSCC is relatively low in the United States, the affected population is changing from older males to young Caucasian males. High-risk strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) already are associated with cervical, oral, and anal cancers; however, HPV DNA has been detected in about a third of head and neck malignancies. Nurses play major roles in educating the public and treating patients with HPV and HNSCC. Many possibilities for outreach and research exist that could decrease HPV and HNSCC rates.

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