Oral Cancer Journey

Meet Richard, a Madison-area oral cancer survivor and Gilda’s Club Ambassador. Why does Richard share his story? Because HPV-related oral cancer is on the rise and he hopes his story will help others. Get to know him here and then share your story, your concerns, and encourage others who are facing this diagnosis on our Facebook page.

HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that, the National Institute of Health says, is so common that most of our sexually active population has had it in one form or another. Most of us are able to clear the virus on our own. But some people are unable to fight off the virus, and the changes in their cells can lead to oral cancer.

Richard had no symptoms when a lump appeared on the side of his neck. Referred for tests he found that he had HPV-related oral cancer. Some people have signs or symptoms including a persistent sore throat, earache, hoarseness, enlarged lymph nodes, pain when swallowing, a change in alignment of teeth, and unexplained weight loss. Some have no symptoms and that was the case with Richard. He credits his doctors for their care, his wife for her loving support, and for getting him to Gilda’s Club for theirs. We credit Richard for speaking out about HPV-related oral cancer. Watch him share his story below.