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Mr David Evans 

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PhD student David Evans
Position:PhD Student

Location:Room 702a, EastGate House, 35-43 Newport Road, Cardiff CF24 0AB


'Human papilloma virus in oropharyngeal cancer: a comparative study of long term psychosocial adaptation


Prof J.Hopkinson  and Dr S. Anstey


“Patients with head and neck cancer experience profound functional and visible changes as a result of the disease and treatment” (Penner, 2009, p.231). There is a substantial body of evidence which indicates that psychological distress is common in patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer (Hutton and Williams, 2001).

Whereas the incidence of most head and neck cancers, including cancers of the larynx, is stable or decreasing in the UK, incidence levels of oropharyngeal cancer is continuing to increase. Marur et al (2010) point to a rise in incidence over the last decade of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (usually involving the lingual and palatine tonsils) in white men under the age of 50yrs. These men commonly have no history of alcohol or tobacco use, and the disease is often attributed to spread of the human papilloma virus (HPV)-16 via oral sex. While HPV+ve patients tend to have better survival rates, they have similar treatment and consequently similar long term side effects.

This study aims to conduct a qualitative study using multiple semi-structured interviews with people who have been radically treated for oropharyngeal cancer in the past five years, including both HPV+ve and HPV-ve cases. The interviews will be transcribed and analysed for thematic commonalities. The interviews will focus on themes of coping and adaptation.

The aim of the study is that we can better understand the lived experience of a person who has been treated for oropharyngeal cancer, and whether knowledge of HPV status affects that experience.