CDA Essentials 2016 • Volume 3 • Issue 7 - page 33

Volume3 Issue7
The global burden of
Dr. EduardoFranco is a JamesMcGill Professor in the departments of oncologyand of epidemiologyandbiostatistics,
director of the division of cancer epidemiology, and chair of the department of oncologyatMcGillUniversity’s faculty of
medicine. In2016, hewas appointedanOfficer of theOrder ofCanada for “his groundbreaking contributions to the
prevention of cervical cancer inCanadaandaround theworld.”
As the opening speaker at an international consultationmeeting onhuman papillomavirus (HPV)-associated
oropharyngeal cancerheld inWashington,D.C., in2015,Dr. Franco gave a presentation on the global burden of
HPV-associated cancers and the role ofHPV vaccination in cancer prevention.Here, he shares some of the key points
fromhis presentation.
To listen toDr. Franco’s
full interviewvisit
Manypeople, evenhealthprofessionals, donot realize that infectiousagentscanbe
causesof cancer.
It’s an important considerationbecause ifwe’regoing to talkabout prevention, thereneeds
tobeanunderstanding that cancer isnot onlyassociatedwithcharacteristicsof lifestyleand
chemical or physical environments, butwithbiological environments aswell.
Worldwide, 2millioncasesof cancer in2008were related to infectionsor causedby
infections. This represents about 16%of all cancersworldwide. Although this estimate is
from2008, thenumbershaven’t changedmuch. Theparticular infectious agents areviral,
bacterial, andparasitic, as is thecasewithhelminth infections.
Therehasbeenashift in risk factors fororal andoropharyngeal cancers thatdental
professionalsappreciate, but thepublicdoesnot.
Upuntil acoupleof decades ago, itwasunthinkable to talkabout avirus thatwouldcause
oral cancer or oropharyngeal cancer. But now,webetter understand thenatural historyof
HPV inoral andgenitalmucosa. Theepidemiologyof oral cancer isgradually switching, from
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