Cancer rates linked with human papillomavirus (HPV) may be on the rise in the U.S. says a new study from researchers at the American Cancer Society. According to their study, incidents of cervical cancer have steadily fallen in recent years but those linked to HPV have spiked.
HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that is most often associated with cervical cancer and genital warts. Lead researcher Otis Brawley of the ACS says that HPV-related cancers of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, tongue, throat and mouth have spiked between 2000 and 2009.
"This is one of the epidemics of the 21st century. This is a huge problem," said Brawley.
Brawley adds that increased use of an HPV vaccine could reverse the trend, especially for upper body cancers:
"If we let it," Brawley says, "the HPV vaccine may prove to be a godsend for head and neck cancers in the United States."
Their data was published Monday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
by RTT Staff Writer
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