1 in 4 Men Have Cancer-Linked HPV Genital Infections

Charleston Gazette Mail, January 20, 2017 | Go to article overview

1 in 4 Men Have Cancer-Linked HPV Genital Infections


CHICAGO - The first national estimate suggests that nearly half of U.S. men have genital infections caused by a sexually transmitted virus and that 1 in 4 has strains linked with several cancers. Most human papillomavirus infections cause no symptoms and most disappear without treatment. And most adults will get an HPV infection at some point in their lives.

But high-risk HPV can cause cancer in the mouth and upper throat, cervical cancer in women and other cancers. Less harmful strains can cause genital warts.

Vaccines can prevent infections but experts say vaccination rates in pre-teens and young adults are too low. High-risk HPV poses cancer risks to people who are infected and to their sexual partners, who can catch HPV even when the infections are silent.

The study "just underscores that you need to vaccinate boys as well as girls, said Debbie Saslow, an HPV specialist at the American Cancer Society.

The new estimate comes from an analysis of a 2013-14 national health survey; nearly 2,000 men aged 18 to 59 were tested for HPV. Results were published Thursday in the journal JAMA Oncology. The researchers say it's the first published estimate for genital HPV infections in men. The 45 percent rate is higher than previously reported rates for women, said Dr. Jasmine Han, the lead author and a cancer specialist at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. …

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