Sexual Behavior in Head and Neck Cancer Patients
SCCHN is believed to be caused by different types of viruses being exposed to the mucous
membrane on the inside of the mouth, throat, and voice box, over a long period of time. This
exposure results in changes in the cells of the mouth, throat, and voice box, which can lead
to the development of cancer.
HPV-16 has been linked to SCCHN. Half of all cancers of the oropharynx (the middle part of
the throat, the base of the tongue, and tonsils) may be caused by HPV-16. HPV-16 is
normally spread sexually, and is one of the main causes of cervical cancer in women. By
finding out if the virus is also spread sexually to the throat, doctors may be able to teach
patients about risk factors for developing cancer in this area.
If you agree to take part in this study, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire about
your sexual history, such as specific sexual practices, number of partners, exposure to HPV
and other viruses, and any medical history related to HPV-16. The questionnaire will take
10-15 minutes to complete.
None of your personal identifying information will be attached to your questionnaire, and
the questionnaire will be assigned a one-of-a-kind study code number.
To check your cancer diagnosis, your medical records will be reviewed.
Length of Study:
Once you have completed the questionnaire, your participation in this study is over.
This is an investigational study.
Up to 1,500 patients will be enrolled in this study. All will be enrolled at MD Anderson.
Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective
To find out if certain sexual behaviors increase the risk for developing head and neck cancers associated with a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV-16).
Erich Sturgis, MD
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
United States: Institutional Review Board
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