Q. My partner has HPV throat cancer, and we have not had sex for five years. How did he get it?

Answered by
Dr. B. Vageesh Padiyar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 21, 2022

Hi doctor,

My partner is just diagnosed with HPV throat cancer. We did not have sex for 5 years. How could he have got this?

I do not know if I have dormant HPV or could it have been dormant in him for 5 years?



Welcome to

Thanks for briefing me regarding the problem in concern.

There is no such thumb rule that it is necessary to have any form of sex to develop this form of cancer. Although, it is more commonly seen in people having oral sex with HPV (human papillomavirus) positive partners.

The development of throat HPV (human papillomavirus) positive malignancy is always multifactorial and never unifactorial.

Your partner will require a good course of radiotherapy, as these lesions are known to be extremely radiotherapeutic sensitive and they respond well to the therapy.

Dormancy is a possibility and you can get yourself tested for HPV (human papillomavirus). However, there is also a possibility that you are negative. It is a very commonly seen entity.

Hope this answers your query.

Do let us know regarding any further queries.

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