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“I had 42 lymph nodes removed from my neck, followed by seven weeks of chemo, radiation and a feeding tube.” The radiation treatment was the worst. They believe I got the virus in college when I was 18 or 19 and it showed up decades later,” he said.“You have your head strapped down to a table and you can’t move and you can’t swallow your own saliva, so it’s like being waterboarded,” Mendelsohn said. “That’s ever more reason why we want to get kids vaccinated so they don’t develop these.” Related: HPV Raises Head and Neck Cancer Risk 7-Fold Now an advocate for men with head and neck cancer, Mendelsohn notes that he was not promiscuous and did not engage in what most people would see as risky sexual behavior. “This is not people who were promiscuous or who cheated on their spouses.“There are now more of these HPV-related throat cancers in men than there are cervical cancers in women,” said Dr.Erich Sturgis, professor of head and neck surgery at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.Mendelsohn, now 48, is the classic victim of head and neck cancer caused by HPV, the human papillomavirus.A new study out this week shows there’s a silent epidemic of HPV-related cancers among men.HPV is the single biggest cause of cervical cancer and certain types of head and neck cancers called oropharyngeal cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Between 20, close to 39,000 people were diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV every year in the U.
That leaves several generations of Americans vulnerable to these head and neck cancers with no way of knowing if one is silently growing.“And the ironic thing is that I literally shave probably every day and never saw or felt the bump before.” It was stage 4 oropharyngeal cancer.