Officials have reported that the rate of human papillomavirus or HPV-related cancers in America is alarmingly increasing. HPV is a common sexual transmitted infection.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a paper that suggests the rise of the infection and the under usage of its vaccine in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report on Aug. 23.
HPV belongs to the family of sexually transmitted virus that fosters in the cells on the surface of the anus, penis, vulva, vagina, cervix, mouth, and throat. Some high-risk strains of the virus can cause cancer.
About The Study
For the study, CDC examined data from population-based cancer registries from 1999-2015 that joined the health institute's National Program of Cancer Registries and the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. The said data covered around 97.8 percent of the country's population.
According to the CDC, the number of cervical cancer cases have declined between 1999 and 2016. The decreasing cases can be attributed to screening programs.
"The decline in cervical cancer from 1999 to 2015 represents a continued trend since the 1950s as a result of cancer screening," stated the report.
However, other cancers that are related to HPV have increased during the same period. Notably, HPV-related cancers cannot be identified by early-detection means.
The cases of oral cancer among men has surpassed the rate of cervical cancer as the most usual HPV-related malignancy. In 2017 alone, approximately 15,400 men were diagnosed with the disease. This is a huge difference compared to the 3,438 diagnosed women on the same year.
Furthermore, the rate of anal cancer has intensified among women last year. The number of diagnosed women is 4,500, which is more than double than the 2,200 cases in men.
CDC also monitored the decline of people who got the HPV vaccine. The said vaccine is recommended to be given to people between the age of 11 and 12. However, 34 percent of 13-year-old boys and 44 percent of 13-year-old girls in the country were fully vaccinated.
Case Of HPV-Related Cancer
Lee Tomlinson, an LA-based marathoner and professional tennis player was diagnosed with stage-three throat cancer six years ago. Tomlinson did not smoke or drink so he was surprised to know about his sickness.
Cancers of the back of the throat, tonsils, and the base of the tongue, otherwise known as oropharyngeal cancers were mostly associated with heavy drinkers and smokers. However, Tomlinson's case was caused by HPV.
According to the athlete, he did not have a clue that his sexual relationships could lead to cancer. Additionally, he did not exhibit any symptoms or even knew about the virus until he was diagnosed.