Gypsyamber D’Souza of Johns Hopkins University discussed the rise in HPV-related oral cancer, its connection to oral sex and the risk for men at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Gypsyamber D’Souza of Johns Hopkins University, February 12th at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC.
“And it’s much higher in men than in women…we know performing oral sex is the main risk factor for oral HPV infection. And our research shows that performing oral sex is more common in younger generations than in previous generations. And that people are not only more likely to have performed oral sex but with more partners and to initiate it at any earlier age. And all of these differences in sexual behavior across age cohorts or generations do explain the differences that we see in oral HPV prevalence and in HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer across the generations and why the rate of this cancer is increasing...
“But differences in sexual behavior do not explain the differences that we see between men and women in oral HPV infection and HPV-related cancer…
“Men are not only more likely to become infected with oral HPV infection than women, but our research also showed that once you become infected, men are less likely to clear these infections than women. Further contributing to their cancer risk.”
Which means that it’s not just girls and women who should get the HPV vaccine.
“In terms of vaccination of boys, as a researcher who sees the patients with these cancers, the fact that there is a vaccine with great potential to prevent them is very compelling. Our vaccination rates have lagged in boys severely in the States, which is disappointing, but there is a lot of effort to improving that. And I think it’s quite an urgent public health issue to increase HPV vaccination in boys as well as girls.”
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]