[Question #5233] HPV/Cervical cancer

24 months ago
My wife was diagnosed with HPV-16 related cervical cancer in 2013.  She was treated with hysterectomy, chemo and radiation and has been doing well since with no recurrence.  I am concerned with my risk for oropharyngeal cancer.  Should I avoid performing oral sex on her or make any other changes to our sex lives or other aspects of our lives due to her health history? Thank you.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
24 months ago
Welcome to our Forum. I'll be glad to comment.  As I understand it, your wife's cancer was managed beginning in 2013.  If so, it is reasonable to presume that you were sexually active with her since that time.  If so, there is no reason to modify your sexual activity with your wife.  Please remember, exposure is not the same as infection and infection does not lead to cancer.  In fact, cancer is a rare consequence of HPV infection.  When HPV leads to cancer, oral infections are far less common than genital infections.  

I hope that this comment is helpful.  If not, please ask a clarifying question.  We can accept up to two follow-up questions.  EWH
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