Monday, October 3, 2022

Dangerous STDs cause indigenous throat cancer figures in new report – National Indigenous Times

The prevalence of throat cancer caused by a major sexually transmitted disease among Indigenous Australians has been uncovered by new global research.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide found human papilloma virus-led throat cancer to be 15 times more prevalent among Indigenous Australians than young non-Indigenous Australians, and compared rates found in the US, Brazil, Mexico and Finland. was five times higher.

Joan Hedges, director of the UOA Indigenous Oral Health Unit and Yamatji woman, said Indigenous communities worked closely with researchers on the project.

“Participants wanted to be a part of this HPV project because they wanted to be part of the change,” she said.

“The theme that came out was, ‘A member of my family passed away from this throat disease, and I don’t want to be with any other nunga in my community or my family’.

“There was a real strength to the partnership.”

HPV is most commonly associated with cervical cancer, but can spread to the throat, head, and neck through oral sexual activity, and is increasing rapidly globally.

Lisa Jamieson, director of the University of Adelaide Australian Research Center for Population Oral Health, said expanding the study would allow for a deeper dive into the knowledge they had already learned.

“There are two types of oral HPV, types 16 and 18, that are associated with oropharyngeal cancer, out of more than 250 types in total,” she said.

“Sixteen and 18 have the strongest carcinogenic potential – type 16 has a nearly 100 percent risk of developing cancer – so it is important that we understand how prevalent the disease is in Indigenous communities.

“We will do a thorough clinical examination, which includes a complete dental examination of the teeth, tongue, back of the throat, and blood samples to test for early stages of cancer.”

Preliminary findings have led to a five-year extension through $3.1 million National Health and Medical Research Council funding.

The ultimate goal of the research is to detect early signs of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer before it becomes fatal.

More than 1,000 Indigenous peoples from across South Australia, including Adelaide, Mount Gambier, Coober Pedy, Seduna, Whyalla, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie and Riverland, were recruited for the study, which began in 2019.

Richard Logan, the dean and head of the school, said that if detected early, throat cancer treatment can reduce the risk of death and improve quality of life.

Nation World News Desk
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