HPV linked to oral cancer

Need another reason to get your child the HPV vaccination? It can reduce the risk of oral cancer.

I applaud The Sun for its front page article regarding the vaccination of boys and girls to prevent HPV infection ("Md. cancer centers join push for use of HPV vaccine," Jan. 28). Thank you to the leaders at our local cancer centers for this overt public message.

I wanted to add that the genital HPV infection can be transmitted to the oral cavity. An oral HPV infection is associated with a higher risk of head and neck cancer, most notably of the throat region including the tonsils and the base of tongue. Although the vaccination is approved for the prevention of genital infection, preliminary studies indicate that it may also reduce the incidence of oral infection. I add this comment as it reinforces the importance of our children being protected against the potential occurrence of multiple cancers.

Jacquelyn L. Fried, Baltimore

The writer is an associate professor in the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

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