Public awareness of human papillomavirus as a causative factor for oropharyngeal cancer

Michael U. Williams, Michele M. Carr, David Goldenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. To assess the public's awareness of human papillomavirus (HPV) as a causative factor for oropharyngeal cancer. Study Design. Twenty-three-item survey. Setting. Local shopping malls and Maxwell Air Force Base in 2012. Methods. Respondents were randomly chosen to participate in 23-item survey at various local shopping malls and at Maxwell Air Force Base in 2012. The x2 test was used in statistical analysis. Results. The majority of respondents (n = 319) were civilians; 158 were military officer trainees (MOTs). All MOTs had a bachelor's degree or higher, while 37% of civilian respondents had a bachelor's degree or higher. Most MOTs (82%) were aware of oropharyngeal cancer, and 53% of civilians had not heard of oropharyngeal cancer (P <.0001). Most respondents (73% civilian and 91% military) were aware of the association between HPV and cervical cancer. Conversely, 75% of civilian population and 49% of MOTs were not aware of the association between HPV and oropharyngeal cancer (P<.0001). The majority of respondents (61% military and 81% civilian) did not know that both sexes were eligible for HPV vaccine (P<.0001). Conclusions. Most respondents were aware that HPV is a causative agent of cervical cancer. However, the majority were not aware of the association between oropharyngeal cancer and HPV. Furthermore, many respondents were not aware that HPV equally affects males and females and that the vaccine is available for both sexes. This underscores the need to educate the public on the availability of HPV vaccine and the association between HPV and oropharyngeal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1029-1034
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Volume152
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 5 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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