Cases Of Throat Cancer Increase Rapidly In US Men

The virus responsible for Cervical cancer, Human Papilloma Virus or HPV is also the leading cause of another type of cancer, named Oropharyngeal cancer. This type of cancer was more prevalent among the youths in the past but according to recent studies, older men throughout the US are being more affected by this cancer.

The researchers at the University of Texas Health School of Public Health have conducted research on the more recent occurrences and have found out that not only has the number gone up rapidly, the mortality rate has also increased in the past decades. The research was published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Study author and an associate professor in the Department of Management, Policy and Community Health, Ashish Deshmukh said, "Ten, 15 or 20 years ago, what we observed was that the oropharyngeal cancer incidents were largely an issue among young individuals. Now there's a shift that we are seeing a decrease or a stabilization among young and middle-age groups, but among older individuals, now the increases are more rapid."

While saying that it is very unlikely and time-consuming for the HPV to result in throat cancer, it is happening in quite a few instances. "The rise that we are seeing among elderly individuals now, it's likely driven by the infections that they might have acquired early on in their life," Deshmukh added.

The study has shown that nearly 20,000 cases of HPV-caused throat cancer have been diagnosed each year. For the research, the doctors have used the national cancer statistics and death data to study more than 260,000 cases of which 111,300 patients have perished between 2001 to 2017.

The research has also shown that the number of cases among caucasian men who are 65 and above has gone up by almost 3% annually which is even more in some of the states. Women in the Midwest and Southeast regions have also shown an increase in number which is close to 2% per year.

Researchers have also concluded that HPV is behind more than 70% of cancers and it can be prevented if teenagers are given HPV vaccines. According to the database, 55% of the population has been vaccinated by 55% but the rate is significantly lower in the most affected regions.

"Mississippi has 30% HPV vaccination coverage. Louisiana has lower coverage, and these are the states that are suffering more from the increases," Deshmukh said. "If you're not able to achieve optimal HPV vaccination coverage, soon in the Midwest and Southeast, the disparities might magnify in future years," said Dr. Desmukh.

The study has spread significant light on the need for rapid vaccination to get rid of cancer.

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