Tongue Cancer Symptoms Relation To Human Papilloma Virus

Tongue cancer symptoms include the symptoms of the human papilloma virus. The human papilloma viral infection of the oral cavity and oropharyngeal region, has been increasing in the recent years. These infections are believed to increase the risk tongue cancer.

The human papilloma virus is a known causative factor for cervical cancer. This virus is also implicated in male and female genital cancers, and anal cancers. The oral spread of the virus occurs through the unsafe genital-oral sexual practices and having multiple partners, and other mechanisms, such as kissing.

The E6/E7 protein expresses itself during the spread of the human papilloma virus, transforming a normal cell into a cancerous cell. Ironically, the human papilloma virus, while known to cause cancer, is a good indicator and marker that predict a sound response to chemotherapy.

A study done by doctors a few years ago from the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor conducted a study to study the differences in oral cavities between those infected with the virus and those unaffected. Upon understanding their results, they learned some had the virus, while others did not. The patients with the virus in their tongue biopsy samples responded beautifully to the chemotherapy treatments. These same patients did not undergo surgery and were more likely to survive the cancerous stage and proceed to a cancer-free state.

Contrarily, those patients with no apparent human papilloma viruses did not respond to the chemotherapy treatments. Those patients underwent surgery and many did not survive their cancer diagnosis. A 78% survival rate was reported for those with the virus, while only a 36% survival rate was reported for those without the virus.

Ever since the discovery of a difference between the survival rates of the tongue cancer patients based on the human papilloma viral infection, the researchers have looked for reasons. One of the reasons is that the tumor cells of those patients, who do not have the human papilloma viral infection, instead have some of the most powerful cancer promoting agents in their tumor cells. These agents include the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) and the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF).

Both EGFR and VEGF make the tumor grow very aggressively. They increase in the cells as a result of carcinogens from tobacco or cigarette smoke. They help the tumor become big by increasing new blood vessels, and help metastasize and spread to the distant organs. With this type of an outcome, it is not surprising that the Michigan team found such poor survival rates for tongue cancer patients who did not have human papilloma viral infections.

Recently, several biotech companies developed specific drugs to target the agents (EGFR and VEGF), in turn providing reassuring news for tongue cancer sufferers. With this information, please learn to become aware of the link between human papilloma and tongue cancer symptoms.

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