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HPV Caused 25,000 Cancers, according to CDC

Posted on Nov 10, 2008

The Centers for Disease Control released their first estimate of cancers caused by human papilloma virus (HPV).  Twenty-five thousand cases of HPV-associated cancers occurred in 38 states and the District of Columbia annually during 1998-2003, according to the CDC. The report, “Assessing the Burden of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-Associated Cancers in the United States (ABHACUS),” was published online and appears in the Nov. 15, 2008, supplement edition of Cancer.

The top HPV-associated cancer sites were cervix, oral cavity and oropharynx, anus, vulva, penis, and vagina.  Some HPV types can cause cervical cancer and other less common cancers, such as cancer of the vulva, vagina, anus, and penis. Other HPV types can cause genital warts.

Significant findings include:

Age-adjusted rates are presented in parentheses where appropriate and are per 100,000 persons.

  • CERVIX:  More HPV-associated cancers occur in the cervix than any other site – about 10,800 per year. The incidence rate of cervical cancer was 8.9 women during 1998-2003.  Black and Hispanic women had higher rates of cervical cancer (12.6 and 14.2, respectively) than white and non-Hispanic women (both 8.4). 
  • ORAL CAVITY AND OROPHARYNX: Cancers in some areas of the head and neck (oral cavity and oropharynx) are more likely to be HPV-associated than other areas. There were nearly 7,400 potentially HPV-associated cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx per year – nearly 5,700 among men and about 1,700 among women. Incidence rates for a subset of the HPV-associated cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx (cancers of the tonsil and cancers of the base of the tongue) were higher in men than women. These cancers significantly increased (3.0 percent) per year during the reporting period. 
  • ANAL: There were more than 3,000 HPV-associated anal cancers per year – about 1,900 in women and 1,100 in men. HPV-associated anal cancer occurs more frequently among women (1.5) compared to men (1.0).  Whites had the highest rates among women (1.6), while blacks had the highest rates among men (1.2).
  • VULVAR: There were about 2,300 new cases of vulvar cancer each year during the study period.  In contrast to cervical cancer, white women (1.8) had higher rates of vulvar cancer than black (1.3) and Asian/Pacific Islander (0.4) women.
  • PENILE: Penile cancer is relatively rare, striking about 800 men each year.  Incidence rates were higher among Hispanic men (1.3) than non-Hispanic men (0.8).  
  • VAGINAL: About 600 women a year developed vaginal cancers. Incidence rates were higher among black women than white women (0.7 and 0.4, respectively), and incidence rates were lowest among Asian/Pacific Islander women (0.3).
  • Women with a history of cervical cancer have an increased risk of developing subsequent in situ (non-invasive) cancers of the vagina and vulva, as well as invasive cancers of the vagina, vulva, and rectum.

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