The most common cancer associated with human papilloma virus (HPV) is no longer cervical cancer but it is oropharyngeal and in men!

Human Papilloma Virus

The human papilloma virus (HPV) infection is a common STD which has now gained notoriety as the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. It used to be that smoking was the leading cause of this cancer. Up to now HPV was considered a disease of predominately women. You may recall the ‘pap smear’ this was looking for cervical cancer caused by HPV. While other causes of cervical cancer exist this was the only one recognizable by a simple cervical smear.

There are over 100 types of HPV and around 40 can cause cancer*. The CDC states ‘Nearly 80 million Americans are currently infected with some type of HPV. About 14 million people in the United States become newly infected each year’. Children today are vaccinated for HPV (two doses are recommended for 9–14 year olds, while older adolescents need three dose). Vaccine targets most common strains  of this the cancer causing virus. Naturally to be most effective this vaccine should be given before exposure to HPV through sexual activity. Currently the vaccine is recommended ages 11-12. More information regarding safety and side effects go to CDC site on HPV.

Note: HPV infection leads to venereal warts and cancers of penis, anus, vagina, throat, and tonsils to name a few. Every year in the United States, HPV infection causes 30,700 cancers in men and women**.