Human papillomavirus-associated head and neck cancer

Juan C. Nogues, Scott Fassas, Collin Mulcahy, Philip E. Zapanta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) has historically been attributable to tobacco and alcohol exposure and saw a decline in incidence after societal norms shifted away from smoking. In recent decades, this disease has had a re-emergence due to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, now surpassing cervical cancer as the number 1 cause of HPV-related cancer in the United States. HPV-positive OPSCC differs from HPV-negative disease in epidemiology, prognosis, treatment, and prevention. Additionally, there is a deficit in awareness of the causal relationship between HPV and OPSCC. This, coupled with low vaccination rates, puts primary care providers in a unique position to play a vital role in prevention and early diagnosis. In this review, we highlight the epidemiology, screening, patient presentation, diagnosis, prognosis, and prevention of HPV-positive OPSCC, with a focus on the primary care provider’s role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)832
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Immunization
  • Neck
  • Otolaryngology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines
  • Patient Care Team
  • Primary Health Care
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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