Cancers Linked to HPV are on the Rise

As reported in a recent article in SELF, throat and anal cancers caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, are on the rise. The article cites a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which found an increase in HPV-related cancers between 1999 and 2015. According to the CDC report, there were 30,115 new cases of HPV-associated cancers in 1999. But in 2015, that number jumped to 43,371 new cases. Interestingly, different types of HPV-related cancer showed different trends: Between 1999 and 2015, rates of cervical cancer decreased 1.6 percent each year, vaginal squamous cell carcinoma rates decreased 0.6 percent each year, and penile cancer rates were stable. 

Jason D. Wright, MD, a member of Columbia's Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, weighed in. The decline in certvical cancers, he said, is probably due to a combination of factors, including increased HPV vaccination rates and the use of more sensitive screening tests for cervical cancer, such as HPV testing alone or in combination with the Pap smear. Dr. Wright also is chief of gynecologic oncology at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center

The rates of throat cancer increased 2.7 percent each year among men and 0.8 percent annually for women. Anal cancer rates also increased for men and women—2.1 percent and 2.9 percent each year, respectively. Throat cancer was the most common HPV-associated cancer in 2015, with 18,917 cases reported that year, the report says. To read the full article, visit SELF