Can Men Get Cancer From HPV?
Can men get cancer from HPV? It is widely known that the risk of cervical cancer in women increases after HPV (Human Papillomavirus) infection. The risk of men getting cancer from HPV also increases.
A Johns Hopkins University study revealed that HPV causes cancer of the mouth, tongue, tonsils and throat in both men and women. Of 300 study participants, those who had the HPV virus were 32 times more likely to get oral cancer than those who did not. Some researchers suggest that oral sex causes these cancers, though no study has proven this.
Studies show that men can also get cancer of the penis and anus from HPV. More than 3,000 men were diagnosed with these types of cancer in 2008. Many of these cases are attributed to HPV.
Dr. Maura Gillison of the Johns Hopkins study says that men get cancer from HPV at nearly the same rate that women get cervical cancer from the same virus. However, Dr. James M. Steckelberg, professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School, says that these cancer cases are rare and "usually develop in conjunction with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 12,000 women get cervical cancer every year in the United States. Similarly, 12,000 men get oral, neck, head, genital and anus cancers combined. However, most cancers of the head, mouth and neck are associated with tobacco and alcohol, so the men did not get cancer from HPV in these cases.
There are more than 100 strains of the HPV virus. Some "high risk" strains cause symptoms. Some do not. Your immune system eliminates HPV within two years in 90% of cases, though some strains persist and can cause cancer in men.
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