I learned I had HPV cancer in my tonsil when I was 61. At the time, my only symptom was a scratchy throat. When I went to the doctor, a cancer diagnosis was the furthest thing from my mind.
Finding out my cancer was caused by HPV was even more of a shock. I didn’t know at the time how common it is. The type of cancer I got from HPV isn’t very common, but I was fortunate that I was still in the early stages when they caught it.
I had to have surgery to remove my tonsil. It was a difficult recovery since I needed to use a feeding tube, but I was cleared as cancer-free less than a year after my diagnosis.
There’s not much I could have done to avoid my cancer. There was no HPV vaccine when I was younger, and men can’t be tested for it. But I think it’s still important for older men like me to know about the virus so they can get the treatment they need before it’s too late.
— Dennis, age 64