The STI Clinic News > HPV: Page 2
# Monday, 26 March 2012
Posted: Monday, 26 March 2012 | Categories: HPV

Over 6,000 cases per year of oral cancer have been reported for the first time ever and the increase is thought to be due to the increasing rates of human papilloma virus (HPV). The majority of cases in the UK were reported among men in 2011. It is thought that the higher rate in men could be related to the fact that men tend to drink alcohol to a greater degree and smoke more heavily than women.

There has been a 90% increase in the amount of cancers originating at the base of the tongue and a 70% increase in the number of cancers discovered on the tonsils. These areas are strongly associated with HPV. The HPV is likely to have been transferred to the mouth during oral sex.

80% of sexually active people in the UK are likely to contract HPV at some stage in their lives and many of them will contract less serious strains of the virus however there are cancer causing strains that could be potentially fatal if not caught in time and treated.

The good news is that those who have a HPV related cancer are more likely to recover than those who have developed cancer due to drinking alcohol and smoking. With such significant increases in these cancers that can be associated with HPV-16, we are likely to see doctors recommending that boys as well as girls get vaccinated with Gardasil, a vaccination that protects against HPV-16.

 
# Thursday, 26 January 2012
Posted: Thursday, 26 January 2012 | Categories: HPV

The Department of Health in the UK is being put under pressure to review the national HPV immunisation programme following a dramatic rise in oropharyngeal (throat) cancer cases that have been linked to HPV. Over 70% of these cancers are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) according to the latest evidence. The figures were collected by the Institute of Head and Neck Studies, which surveyed various countries, including the UK on the topic of cancers and their relationship to HPV. 10 years ago, less than one third of throat cancers were caused by HPV, indicating the need for a decision to vaccinate boys as well as girls.

Research shows that boys are more prone to developing cancer of the throat since there is a higher concentration of the HPV virus found in the female genital tract. Studies show that there is a very strong link between oropharyngeal cancers and oral sex and the average age of patients presenting with it is getting lower.

The same old argument prevails however regarding the cost of this expensive vaccine. We don’t know if administering the vaccine to boys is worth the expense but it seems that the medical evidence is coming down on the side of a widened vaccination programme. We have already seen the recommended HPV vaccination change to a more expensive but wider spectrum vaccine, so we would not be surprised to see a change in the recommendation regarding vaccinating boys on this latest evidence.

 
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