Is the Rise in Male Oral Cancer Related to HPV?
Human papillomavirus (HPV), the sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer in women, has been linked to an increase in throat, tonsil and tongue cancer in younger men.
While these diseases were once associated with older men who have smoked and drank heavily for most of their life, head and neck cancer brought on by HPV are now occurring among men in their 40s and 30s.
Researchers believe that the increase in certain oral cancers may be traced to the spread of the HPV virus through oral sex.
New studies suggest that HPV-related oral cancer cases may eventually surpass cases of cervical cancer in the United States, which strike about 11,000 women each year.
The researchers said they hope an HPV vaccine that is designed to protect girls from cervical cancer will be approved for boys and tested for head and neck cancers.