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THROAT CANCER

MICHAEL DOUGLAS APPEARS TO HAVE OVERCOME THROAT CANCER, BUT WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK FOR OTHERS WITH THE DISEASE? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Throat cancer, known in medicine as oropharyngeal cancer, is sometimes associated with a good prognosis, and sometimes not, Michael Douglas’ condition notwithstanding.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes who is most likely to respond better to treatment.

NELSON: There is a story that’s emerging in oropharyngeal cancer and that is that many of these cancers appear to be caused by human papilloma viruses, the same viruses that cause cervical cancer.  The good news about cancers caused by these viruses is that people with them appear to fare better with radiation therapy, chemotherapy and the like, than people, men and women, who had oropharyngeal, head and neck cancers not caused by this virus.  Instead caused by cigarette smoking and the like.   :29

People with oropharyngeal cancer should make sure their human papilloma virus status is known.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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