“Last night, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of banking giant JPMorgan , told employees that he is being treated for throat cancer. In a memo, he said that he would begin eight weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
The good news is that the prognosis from my doctors is excellent, the cancer was caught quickly, and my condition is curable. Following thorough tests that included a CAT scan, PET scan and a biopsy, the cancer is confined to the original site and the adjacent lymph nodes on the right side of my neck. Importantly, there is no evidence of cancer elsewhere in my body.
It’s impossible to speculate on Dimon’s cancer beyond what he put in his memo. I contacted JPMorgan and the company could not confirm any other details about his conditions. But it’s very possible that Dimon has been swept up, along with thousands of other men, by an increasingly common disease: throat cancer caused by infection with the human papilloma virus, or HPV.
“It wouldn’t be unusual,” says Eric Genden, chief of head and neck oncology at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “This is an epidemic.”
In 2008, the last year for which data are available, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimate that 2,370 women and 9,356 men developed HPV-caused head and neck cancer, about a third of the cases of head and neck cancer that year.
HPV surpassed other causes of throat cancer in 2004. Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology
But Genden says that 70% to 90% of head and neck cancer cases worldwide are now caused by HPV; the American Cancer Society estimates that this year, there will be 42,440 cases of head and neck cancer in the U.S.
Traditionally, head and neck cancer patients were older men who smoke and drank heavily. The alcohol and tobacco damaged the cells in the throat, eventually leading to cancer.
HPV-caused cancer is different. The men (and it’s still mostly men) who get it are younger. In a series of cases at Mount Sinai, they were between 35 and 65.
Five years ago, I profiled Maura Gillison, the Ohio State University researcher who helped establish that this was a big problem. She told me how when enrolling a study several years ago, she’d recruited, in sequence, a malpractice lawyer, doctor, a scientist and a rear admiral. The first patient I spoke to about his HPV throat cancer was a consultant and economist who later died from his disease. Two years ago, I wrote about a 50-year-old biotech CEO who also had HPV throat cancer. Last year, the actor Michael Douglas said that his throat cancer was caused by HPV.
The point is that these are men much like Dimon: CEOs and consultants, men at the peak of their lives and professional power. And their numbers are increasing.
The chart above shows the total number of throat cancer cases, and also the amount caused by HPV and the amount that weren’t, among patients in Hawaii, Iowa, and Los Angeles. As you can see, in 2004 the HPV cancers began to outnumber the type caused by smoking and drinking.
How do you get HPV cancer? HPV is sexually transmitted. It’s mainly known as a cause of cervical cancer, which is what happens when it infects women. But men can get it by performing cunnilingus. It’s also possible, though less likely, that it can be transmitted by kissing. Eighty percent of sexually active people between the ages of 14 and 44 have had oral sex with an opposite sex partner. Researchers estimate that HPV throat cancer in men will be more common than cervical cancer in women in the U.S.
Most strains of HPV do not cause cancer, either in the throat or the cervix. And most HPV infections are cleared by the body. But in a minority of cases, perhaps 10%, they persist. If the strain is of the right variety – for instance, the HPV 16 strain of the virus – this infection can eventually lead to cancer. When it comes to throat cancer, this process takes decades.
The good news is that throat cancer caused by HPV is far less deadly than the old type that resulted from chronic tobacco use and drinking. Some researchers have cited data that it is 80% curable. In a series of 500 patients who were early in their disease conducting at Sinai, more than 90% were still cancer free five years after surgery. And in that study Sinai was deliberately using less invasive surgery and skipping chemotherapy and radiation in the interest of sparing men side effects.
One hope is that the vaccines developed to prevent HPV infection in women – Gardasil, from Merck , and Cervarix, from GlaxoSmithKline – could prevent HPV infection in the throat and, therefore, cancer later on. But there’s no way to prove this. Drug companies funded studies showing the vaccines prevented the formation of precancerous lesions in the cervix, but there’s no way to do something similar in the throat.
“I think the downside of having the HPV vaccine in young boys is so low and the potential upside is so high that I advocate it,” says Genden. “Do we have evidence that it prevents oropharangeal cancer in boys? No.””
Durak,,, did you notice that this story features the CEO of JPMorgan again? It would seem that he has been busy sticking his nose into other people’s business!
“What” is important too durak! You should be able to nibble on a girl’s neck or ear lobes without any danger. Kissing a girl on the lips carries some danger, I suppose it depends on how flexible the girl is?
American Congress unanimously approved fresh economic sanctions against Russia and lethal weapons for Kiev, defying President Barack Obama and hardening American lawmakers' response to a Kremlin-backed insurgency in Ukraine.
Ukraine Freedom Support Act passed both the Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday, but because of a technical issue it returned to the Senate where it passed by unanimous consent
In the local paper, an article published in today's edition mentions of polio cases appearing in southwest Ukraine. It is estimated that only half of the children are vaccinated for childhood diseases. An outbreak of illnesses could happen because of lack of health immunizations because people cannot afford it.
A friend rang to tell me she had received an email saying I was stranded in the Ukraine having lost my passport and "cell phone", and urgently needed £2,100 to settle my hotel bill and get home....................
“I had no inkling at first how it had happened. Then I realised I had opened an email the previous day, supposedly from my internet provider BT, saying I needed to confirm my email address as it was introducing changes. Unless I did so, I would lose my address and access to my emails.”
I get that all of the time with my yahoo email address, or it claims that I have exceeded my 1gb limit. A couple days ago, while checking out a link on fb,,, I received one of those scams claiming they can help you fix your pc,,,, when they’re the ones that F-ed it up in the first place. I could not get off of that screen,,, and it kept beeping. I couldn’t turn off IE, and esc did nothing. I had to shut off the pc. I deleted my temp folders, used cc cleaner, and ran both security programs,,, they found nothing.
The term for those is "ransomware" It a really big problem on facebook. A "freiend" will post an ad for sunglasses or coupons or whatever that looks like a page on FB but really redirects you to the "ransomware" PC matic had an article on thier site about it