HPV-Related Cancer On The Rise

HPV-Related Cancer On The Rise

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion said a rise in can­cer has been tied to the sex­u­al­ly trans­mit­ted dis­ease human papil­lo­mavirus with throat can­cer being the most common. 

Accord­ing to the CDC, over 43,000 peo­ple were diag­nosed with HPV-relat­ed can­cer in 2015; in 1999, that num­ber was just 30,000. The CDC also said the num­ber of peo­ple get­ting the HPV vac­ci­na­tion has also increased, which can help stem the rise in can­cer cas­es. How­ev­er, it’s not increas­ing fast enough, experts have said.

In 2017, about half of teenagers 13 – 17 have got­ten their rec­om­mend­ed HPV vac­ci­na­tion dos­es with two-thirds get­ting the first dose. This is an increase of five per­cent­age points from 2016.

For­mer MD Ander­son Can­cer Cen­ter pres­i­dent Ronald DePin­ho said the move is going in the right direc­tion, but not all par­ents and health care providers are giv­ing the chil­dren the vac­cine, which has been proven safe and quite effective.

He said not get­ting the vac­cine that could pre­vent can­cers is a trag­ic, missed opportunity.

80 mil­lion in the U.S. are infect­ed with the com­mon STD. While most HPV cas­es clear them­selves up, cer­tain HPV strains are per­sis­tent and can lead to cer­vi­cal, anal, penile, vagi­nal and throat cancers.

Accord­ing to the agency, 90 per­cent of HPV-relat­ed can­cer cas­es could be pre­vent­ed. The vac­cine, which was intro­duced about 10 years ago, has helped to sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er HPV infec­tions and cer­vi­cal pre-can­cer How­ev­er, it can take some time before the full ben­e­fits of the vac­cine are seen since it takes a few years for sev­er­al can­cers to devel­op once HPV has infect­ed someone.

The CDC sug­gests chil­dren 11 and 12 get two HPV vac­cine dos­es about six to 12 months apart. Any­one after 15 years of age should receive three shots.

Many experts have agreed the rise in HPV vac­ci­na­tion rates is good but more improve­ment could be made.

A report shows that few­er teenagers liv­ing in rur­al areas are get­ting the vac­cine and the menin­gi­tis vac­cine. Also, boys are still less like­ly to get the vac­cine as girls – with 53 per­cent of females com­pared to 44 per­cent of males receiv­ing it.

Throat can­cer rates in both men and women have risen between 1999 and 2015 with more in men being diag­nosed with the disease.


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