The same vaccine that protects women from cervical cancer also prevents an oral infection that sometimes leads to throat cancer in both sexes, a new study has found. And the throat cancer is actually much more common in men than women.
The vaccine has been controversial in the U.S. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend boys and girls get a human papillomavirus vaccine around age 11 or 12. However, some parents oppose the recommendation because they believe offering the vaccine gives their kids the message that sexual activity is okay. Others seem to think their kids won't need it.
The new study found that among 2,910 women who got Cervarix, an HPV vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline, only one got an oral HPV infection after four years. Among the 2,924 women who didn't get Cervarix, 15 had an oral HPV infection. That makes the vaccine 93 percent effective against oral HPV infection, the study scientists wrote in a paper they published yesterday in the journal PLOS ONE.
This is the first time anybody has studied whether an HPV vaccine protects against oral as well as genital infections. The results could make HPV vaccines more popular among men and boys—or rather, the parents of boys, who decide whether to vaccinate them. While cervical cancer affects only women, both sexes can get HPV infections that lead to genital warts, anal cancers and oral and throat cancers. Men are four times more likely to get oropharyngeal cancers—a cancer of the back of the throat—than women.
The study didn't include any men, but previous studies have found that HPV vaccines are equally effective against infections in men and women.
Cervarix protects against two strains of the human papillomavirus, HPV16 and HPV18. HPV16 shows up in 90 percent of HPV infections. It also causes a subset of oropharyngeal cancers. In the past, drinking and smoking caused the majority of such throat cancers, but recently, doctors have seen increasing numbers of HPV-caused oropharyngeal cancers, especially among young adults in developed countries. Researchers now think viruses cause 30 percent of oropharyngeal cancers worldwide.
Just last month, actor Michael Douglas told the U.K.'s The Guardian that his throat cancer was caused by an infection from performing oral sex on a woman. (A doctor The Guardian talked with, who hadn't treated Douglas, seemed to think it's more likely Douglas' cancer came from a combination of smoking, drinking and infection.) Douglas said he has been clear of the cancer for more than two years now.
An estimated 14 million Americans get infected by HPV every year. Although most won't see any symptoms, the virus can cause genital warts, cervical cancer and other cancers.
The study was performed in Costa Rica, with funding from the U.S.' National Cancer Institute. The study scientists came from institutes in Europe, the U.S. and Costa Rica. GlaxoSmithKline donated the vaccine for the study.
Wow! You mean with drugs I can drop my chances of catching HPV from .005% to .0003%!
All with these minimal side effects (7%-30% of people):
Gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain (stomach pain)
A high fever
Any unusual behavior changes
An unexplained rash
Swelling of the mouth or throat
At least half of sexually active men and women get genital HPV some time in their lives. Remind me not to have sex with you, Wanamingo, if that's how you think about your risk for STDs.
"At least half of sexually active men and women get genital HPV some time in their lives. Remind me not to have sex with you, Wanamingo, if that's how you think about your risk for STDs."
Stupid is, as stupid...
"Among the 2,924 women who didn't get Cervarix, 15 had an oral HPV infection"
From the article above. So while yes.... Most people do get some form of HPV at some point in their lives 90% will recover normally.
From the CDC site they claim there are about 21,000 people who get cancers related to HPV every year out of an estimated 79 million infected so........
If you are one of the 79 million that has HPV the chances of you contracting caner is.... 0.00027%
Also worth noting that The types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as the types of HPV that can cause cancers.
Hello, in your life time, have you ever gotten a wart or do you have one now?
"...What Causes Common Skin Warts?
Blame common viruses that exist nearly everywhere.
But common warts are actually an infection in the top layer of skin, caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus, or HPV, family. When the virus invades this outer layer of skin, usually through a tiny scratch, it causes rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of skin – creating the wart.
“HPV is ubiquitous,” says dermatologist Conway Huang, MD, an associate professor of dermatologic surgery and cutaneous laser surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “We all come in contact with it,” throughout our lives, such as when shaking hands, turning doorknobs, or typing on keyboards.
Scientists have identified more than 100 unique types of the virus. And most people will have at least one common wart at sometime in their lives, usually on their hands..."