Regardless, more than 11,000 cervical cancer cases will be diagnosed this year, a number that has been dropping steadily thanks to better Pap smears. The researchers calculated that annual cases of cervical cancer will drop to 7,700 by 2020 – compared with about 8,700 cases of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer – about 7,400 of them in men.
The report raises the question: Can the vaccine that’s currently given to young women protect men against oral HIV?
HPV vaccination is approved for boys to prevent genital warts and anal cancer, additional problems caused by human papillomavirus. But protection against oral HPV hasn’t been studied in either gender, said report author Dr. Maura Gillison, a head-and-neck cancer specialist at Ohio State.
A spokeswoman for Merck & Co., maker of the HPV vaccine Gardasil, said the company has no plans to study the vaccine on oral cancer.
Regardless, the cancer society said the report suggests that patients with HPV-linked oral tumors have better survival odds than those with other types of this cancer, possibly because they tend to be younger.
Have a sore throat that lasts longer than two weeks? See a doctor. Just because you’re not a smoker or drinker doesn’t mean you can’t get throat cancer.
Visit BlackDoctor.org’s STD center for more info on HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases.