Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Young men, women missing HPV shots

Young men, women missing HPV shots

The prevalence of cancer-causing HPV among men 18 to 59 years old was 25.1%, higher than the 20.4% among women from 2013 to 2014. In recent years, health experts have reported the rise of HPV-related cases of oropharyngeal cancer, or cancers that occur in the tonsils and base of tongue.

Now, a new study found nearly 23% of USA adults ages 18 to 59 have one of the forms of HPV that puts them at risk for certain cancers.

The virus is thought to account for about 80% of cervical cancers.

"Across Queensland, the figures showed a significant improvement in the number of girls fully immunised against HPV, but some local communities are still lagging", Ms McMillan said.

Researchers compared the anonymised cervical screening and vaccination records of women born in 1995 with those from unvaccinated women born between 1989 and 1990.

The survey was conducted by analyzing samples of more than 20,000 women, which makes this study one of the largest ever conducted in Scottland's history regarding the impact of a vaccine.

They found around 0.5% of women from the 1995 group tested positive for HPV 16/18, compared with 21.4% of women born before 1990.

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Some types of HPV can cause genital warts and are considered low risk, with a small chance for causing cancer, the CDC report said.

While great progress has been made in creating HPV vaccines, current approaches to prevent infection have limitations. "It is important that we share this good news to encourage continued participation in this successful programme". The other types are considered high-risk, causing cancer in different areas of the body including the cervix and vagina in women, penis in men, and anus and oropharynx in both men and women, according to the CDC.

Recent studies have shown that human papillomavirus is responsible for other types of cancer like vulvovaginal, anal and a subset of head and neck cancers. The agency says that most of these cancer cases could be prevented with the usage of the human papillomavirus vaccine.

This work, funded by the Scottish Government, is part of public health work in Scotland looking at the effect of the vaccine on levels of cervical lesions and cancer-related cell abnormalities. HPV infections among women have been much more widely studied given the strong link between HPV and cervical cancer, a connection that has been known for decades.

The research team, led by Dr Kevin Pollock, senior epidemiologist at Health Protection Scotland, believe the reduction in HPV may lead to a commensurate drop in cervical cancer cases, and hope to see a decrease in new diagnoses within a year.

"This will save the lives of many women and save many others from invasive treatment with very hard long-term consequences".

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