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Feb. 13 webinar addresses HPV and oropharyngeal cancer

January 31, 2019

The Public Health Foundation is hosting a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-sponsored immunization webinar Feb. 13 to address common questions related to HPV and oropharyngeal cancer.

Each year, more than 33,000 men and women are diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV, and according to the Public Health Foundation, oropharyngeal cancer has “recently surpassed cervical cancer as the most common cancer caused by HPV, accounting for nearly 13,000 cases every year in the United States.”

The webinar’s featured speakers include Amber D’Souza, Ph.D., associate professor, epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Carole Fakhry, M.D., associate professor, otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The two experts have co-authored several papers about HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers and have also documented the psychosocial experiences of survivors both during and after treatment.

The one-hour webinar will cover:

  • The difference between oral cancers and oropharyngeal cancers.
  • Common questions about oropharyngeal cancer and the HPV vaccine and how to answer them.
  • The process of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from oropharyngeal cancer from a cancer survivor’s perspective.
  • The burden and epidemiology of oropharyngeal cancer as well as the natural history from HPV infection to oropharyngeal cancer.

The ADA urges dentists to support the use and administration of the human papillomavirus virus vaccine, recognizing it as a way to help prevent infection of the types of HPV associated with oropharyngeal cancer.

In 2018 the ADA House of Delegates adopted Res. 53H-2018, which stated that the vaccination is a “safe and effective intervention to decrease the burden of oral and oropharyngeal HPV infection,” citing recommendations from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

In 2017, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs and Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry published “Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation of Potentially Malignant Disorders in the Oral Cavity” which evaluated adjuncts as triage tools for the evaluation of lesions, including potentially malignant disorders, in the oral cavity. To view this guideline, visit

Register for the webinar here.