Differences in history of sexual behavior between patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma and patients with squamous cell carcinoma at other head and neck sites

Authors

  • Kristina R. Dahlstrom MS,

    1. Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Guojun Li MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    2. Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Guillermo Tortolero-Luna MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico
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  • Qingyi Wei MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Erich M. Sturgis MD, MPH

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    2. Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    • Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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Abstract

Background.

An emerging epidemic of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal cancer has been proposed. The purpose of this study was for us to compare the sexual behaviors of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP) and patients with squamous cell carcinoma of non-oropharyngeal (SCCNOP) head and neck sites to expand our understanding of sexual behavior as a risk factor for HPV-associated head and neck cancer.

Methods.

The sexual history of 165 patients with SCCOP and 87 patients with SCCNOP was determined in a hospital-based case-to-case comparison study.

Results.

Patients with SCCOP were significantly more likely than patients with SCCNOP to have had >9 lifetime sex partners (odds ratio [OR], 39.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 8.2–187.3), to have engaged in oral-genital sex (OR, 3.5; 95% CI, 1.1–11.1), and to have had >4 oral-genital sex partners (OR, 8.6; 95% CI, 2.2–33.4).

Conclusion.

The findings of this study suggest that some risk factors are site-specific and provide further evidence that certain sexual behaviors increase the risk of HPV-associated SCCOP. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2011

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