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Do you know your HPV strain/ does it matter?

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Old 03-04-2010, 12:44 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Boston, Mass, USA
Posts: 81
francegirl HB User
Do you know your HPV strain/ does it matter?

I was diagnosed last year with hi-risk HPV and AIS, had a hyst recently. But I still don't know if I have strain 16 or 18; apparently the test didn't go that far.

Does it matter?

I am worried about these articles that link 16 to oral cancers. I asked my dr today at my post-op if I could get the test (or if it already said in my file) which one I had. His answer was that it doesn't really matter much because the hi-risk part is the important part (vs having low risk HPV). I have asked him in the past about the link to oral cancer and I can't really remember his answer (I ask him a LOT of questions at my appts) but I think it was something like "it's not a given" or "it's not proven". I could be wrong about that.

So do you know, and do you think it's important to know? Or am I worrying about something ridiculously remote and unproven?

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Old 03-04-2010, 01:09 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 494
LilyL21 HB UserLilyL21 HB UserLilyL21 HB User
Re: Do you know your HPV strain/ does it matter?

I didn't have strain-specific testing, though I read somewhere that that something like 90%+ of adenocarcinomas are caused by HPV 18. That fact definitely made me feel better about vulvar/vaginal/anal/oral cancers because they are mostly caused by HPV 16. I can't remember where, but I'll send you the link if I find it I'll send it to you.

It's not actually confirmed that I didn't also have HPV 16 as well, but it still made me feel better.

And yes, you are worrying about something ridiculously remote, but I think we all do that!

Old 03-04-2010, 02:07 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Haven, CT
Posts: 445
zoe96 HB User
Re: Do you know your HPV strain/ does it matter?

Lily's right -- one of my oncologists told me that almost all adenos are caused by 18, and squamous are caused by 16. 25% of all oral/throat cancers are caused by hpv, and of that 25%, around 90% are caused by hpv16. I asked my doc if I could have the dna testing to confirm the strain that I had (and I wanted it mostly to ease my mind that I did not have 16) but he said since it wouldn't affect my treatment, it wouldn't be covered and he couldn't order it. I tried arguing that I didn't care and I'd pay for it, but he finally talked me out of it -- mostly because at that point I was testing negative for hpv at all (thankfully!).

Old 03-04-2010, 02:32 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Boston, Mass, USA
Posts: 81
francegirl HB User
Re: Do you know your HPV strain/ does it matter?

I never knew that 90+% of adenos were caused by #18; maybe I read it once and forgot it. Who knows.

Thank you both for the info.

I still might bring it up again at my 6-month visit because part of me just wants to know. I don't know why.

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