New York Times - Dr. Marshall Posner: "Oral Cancer Sneaks Up"
By asserting last week that his cancer was caused by a virus transmitted during oral sex, Michael Douglas pushed the disease onto the front pages and made millions of Americans worry about it for the first time. The kind of chronic HPV 16 infection that leads to oral cancer occurs near the base of the tongue. The tonsils, an expanse of lymphoid tissue that includes much more than the two back-of-the-throat bumps removed in tonsillectomies, have deep folds and crevices. “If you spread them out, they’re two feet by two feet, said Dr. Marshall R. Posner, Medical Director for Head and Neck Cancer at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. “You can’t swab them. It’s just not possible.” Learn more