The "hPV Discussion": Effective Use of Data to Deliver Recommendations to Patients Impacted by HPV

Samir S. Khariwala, Michael G. Moore, Kelly M. Malloy, Benoit Gosselin, Richard V. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective The dramatic rise in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma associated with the human papilloma virus (HPV) has brought significant change to the interaction between patients and head and neck oncologists. HPV-induced cancers are generally the result of elements from the patients sexual history, and otolaryngologists are generally less experienced than primary care physicians in addressing patient questions relating to sexual history and practices. This article addresses questions commonly posed by patients relating to HPV-induced head and neck cancers, issues related to HPV vaccination, and surveillance of HPV-related lesions. Supporting data are provided such that physicians may be better equipped to sufficiently address patient queries on this topic. Data Sources Available peer-reviewed literature and clinical practice guidelines. Review Methods Assessment and discussion of specific topics by authors selected from the Head and Neck Surgery Education Committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. Results An educational "miniseminar" resulted in a notable increase in attendee knowledge and comfort regarding oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma counseling for patients in the setting of HPV-positive disease. Conclusions and Implications for Practice The dramatic increase in HPV-associated head and neck cancers has resulted in a changed paradigm of the physician-patient interaction. Care providers in todays environment must be prepared to counsel patients regarding sexually transmitted diseases and high-risk sexual behaviors. Examination of the existing data provides the foundation with which to construct a framework in which physicians can effectively communicate information and recommendations as they pertain to HPV-related carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-525
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Official journal of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation.


  • HPV
  • head and neck cancer
  • human papilloma virus
  • oropharyngeal cancer
  • patient counseling


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