Sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) is etiologically related to cervical carcinoma and a distinct subset of cancers of the nasopharyngeal tract. We report 2 patients with HPV-associated cervical cancer and synchronous diagnoses of HPV-related head and neck cancer of their husbands. These patients had active oral sex for more than 20 years. The first patient was a 64-year-old woman who had an abnormal Papanicolaou smear and was found to have squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix on cervical punched biopsy. Her husband was diagnosed with laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma 1 year previously, and was treated with total laryngectomy and adjuvant radiation. HPV-16 DNA was detected in both their tumor specimens using polymerase chain reaction. The other patient was a 50-year-old female with cervical carcinoma treated surgically and with concurrent chemo-radiotherapy. HPV-31 DNA was detected in her tumor specimen. Three years later, her husband presented with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, although not a tobacco or alcohol user. HPV-18 DNA was detected in his tumor specimen.These findings strongly suggest that HPV may play a major role in the carcinogenesis of urogenital and nasopharyngeal tumors and the transmission potential of orogenital sex.

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