The human papilloma virus or HPV is a very frequent virus that has a special attraction for the skin and mucous membranes (called epitheliotropic). In recent years, much research has been conducted in relation to the ability of HPV to produce malignant lesions, especially in the cervix. But not all types of HPV are capable of inducing cancer.
There are more than 100 types of HPV, depending on their composition, and not all of them cause cancer. Some types of HPV are the cause of warts on the lips or skin and other diseases that affect the mouth that are not necessarily related to cancer.
The association of HPV with cervical cancer has been clearly established and for several years it has been investigated whether it is also related to oral cancer. Unfortunately, many studies suggest that HPV could also be the cause of cancer in the oral cavity. However, it is not the only risk factor for cancer of the mouth, as smoking is still the greatest agent associated with malignancy in the oral mucosa.
The treatment of oral lesions caused by HPV is surgical removal, which is recommended in a conventional manner, however, laser removal can also be used. The histopathological study of the biopsy is essential to determine the diagnosis of the disease. Although the virus cannot be detected under optical microscopy, certain histological characteristics allow the diagnosis of the disease to be easily made, and thanks to the advances of biology in the molecular area, it is possible to detect HPV with a lot of assertiveness in the tissues with techniques that are almost routine.