June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON — The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is commonly associated with sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer. So, when the well-known actor Michael Douglas implied that his throat cancer was caused by HPV, contracted through oral sex, the news made headlines around the world. HPV-caused oral cancer has been on the rise and mostly affects men.
The human papillomavirus, HPV, is actually many different viruses. One particular strain causes oral cancer, and doctors say the number of cases is reaching epidemic levels. Most of the victims are men who live in developed countries.
“There are almost about 20 million people in the US who have been infected and have this virus. Most of them, however, are not related to that particular HPV16 virus which is responsible for oropharyngeal cancer,” said Dr. Mumtaz Khan, a head and neck specialist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
Yet Khan says HPV16-related cancer is reaching epidemic levels.
“The rate of oral oropharyngeal cancer related to HPV has significantly risen in the last two decades. I can give you an example of several studies quoting tonsil cancers to be about 28 percent related to HPV back in the 80’s, and now it’s up to 68-80 percent,” Khan said.
Right now there is no way to screen for oral cancer, so Khan says patients need to monitor themselves regularly.
"People should look for anything which is unusual, atypical, something new that is persisting, not going away, like a lump in the neck, a sore in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, change in voice," Khan said.
Khan says this type of cancer is very curable. But the infection can be prevented. HPV16 is one of the viruses targeted by the HPV vaccine. Khan says as the vaccine becomes more widely used, it's likely there will be fewer cases of this type of oral cancer.
In a recent study, however, the number of parents in the US who indicated they would not vaccinate their daughters against HPV increased from 40 to 44 percent. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that boys be vaccinated against HPV.
In one promising discovery, researchers at the US National Cancer Institute said antibodies against the human papillomavirus may help identify those at risk for HPV-related oral cancer. Although the findings are preliminary, one day a simple blood test might be able to identify patients at risk.
associate (v) 把 . . . 聯想在一起
sexually transmitted infections (n phr) 性傳染病 XXXXX*另一個「性病」常見的詞是 sexually transmitted disease，常縮寫為STD
contract (v) 感染 XXXXX*當動詞用，重音擺後，，有「感染」和「收縮」的意思；作名詞時，重音在前，，意思是「合約」
on the rise (prep phr) 在上升，在增加
strain (n) 品種
epidemic (n) 流行病
人類乳突病毒 (the human papillomavirus) 通常是和性傳播疾病 (sexually transmitted infiections) 和子宮頸癌 (cervical cancer) 聯想在一塊 (associated with . . . )，所以知名男星麥克道格拉斯說他的喉癌 (throat cancer) 是因為口交而感染了人類乳禿病毒所導致的，這在國際間占據不少頭條版面 (made headlines around the world)。
人類乳禿病毒有很多種，其中一種特定的病毒株 (one particular strain) 會引發口腔癌。醫生認為，病例的數量已達流行病 (epidemic) 程度，最受影響的病患多是已開發國家的男性。
specialist (n) 專科醫生
tonsil (n) 扁桃腺
atypical (a) 非典型的
persisting (a) 持續不斷的
頭頸部的專科醫師 (specialist) Dr. Mumtaz Khan 的指出，美國約有兩千萬人感染人類乳禿病毒。雖然大多數不是主要引起 (responsible for . . .) 口咽癌 (oropharyngeal cancer) 的HPV16型病毒，但與HPV16有關的癌症病例已達流行病程度。在過去二十年間，人類乳禿病毒有關的口咽癌比例明顯上升，他引用 (quoting) 扁桃腺癌 (tonsil cancers) 的數據，在80年代時，與人類乳禿病毒相關的病例比約占28%，但現已達60到80%。
目前還沒有篩檢出 (screen for) 口腔癌的方法，但醫師建議病患可以定期的自我檢測 (moniter themselves regularly)，看看是否有異常又持續的狀態 (atypical；persisting)，像是頸部硬塊 (lump)， 口腔有潰瘍 (sore)，吞嚥困難 (difficulty swallowing)，聲音改變等。
indicate (v) 指示;指出
vaccinate (v) 接種疫苗 XXXXX*搭配介係詞 against 使用，表示接種「對抗某種傳染病的疫苗」
preliminary (a) 初步的
at risk (prep phr) 有危險，冒風險
Dr. Mumtaz Khan 指出，雖然這類癌症是可治癒的 (curable)，但感染是可以避免的，HPV16型病毒正是HPV疫苗 (vaccine) 的標的之一。但最近的研究顯示，在美國的父母表示 (indicated) 不願讓女兒接種抗 HPV 病毒疫苗 (vaccinate . . . against . . .) 的比率從40%增加到44%。
美國國家癌症研究機構做出令人期待的發現 (promising discovery)，人類乳禿病毒的抗體 (antibodies) 可能可以用來識別出會因 HPV 罹口腔癌 (HPV-related oral cancer) 的高風險群 (those at risk for . . .)。雖然只是初步 (preliminary) 發現 ，但將來也許只要驗血 (blood test) 就可以辨識出高罹癌風險的病人。
Check your vocabulary!
Fill in the blanks with a word or phrase from the list above. Make necessary changes. After you finish, select the text below to reveal the hidden answers.
1. The architect's plans are still in the preliminary stages.
2. A particularly hardy strain of the virus can make you ill for over a week.
3. Alcohol abuse has reached epidemic proportions in this country.
4. All children should be vaccinated against measles.
5. They associate turkey with Thanksgiving.
6. He contracted the disease through an insect bite.