HPV Vaccine May Help To Prevent Anal Cancer

Ass
The new vaccine against human papillomavirus, which became available last summer, could potentially prevent thousands of cases of cervical cancer. But doctors hope the vaccine will be able to prevent a less well-known, but potentially fatal, disease in gay men, anal cancer. The same strains of HPV cause both cancers.
Although anal cancer can affect anyone, it is most common among men with histories of receptive anal intercourse — an annual rate of about 35 cases per 100,000, and perhaps twice that for those infected with HIV, which weakens the immune system.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the HPV vaccine last year for girls and women from 9 to 26 after studies indicated that it was extremely effective against infection by four of the dozens of strains of HPV, including the ones responsible for most cases of cervical and anal cancer.
“The cervix is similar biologically to the anus, so there’s plenty of hope that it will work there also,” said Dr. Joel Palefsky, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. But he cautioned that its effectiveness against anal cancer remained to be proved.
The anal cancer rate for gay men is similar to cervical cancer rates before the advent of Pap smears, the test that can detect precancerous cell abnormalities. In recent years, some doctors who treat gay men have advised their patients to undergo anal Pap smears as part of routine preventive care.
from The International Herald Tribune

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: