In the headlines this week: A new, reputable medical study finds that one
in four U.S. men have cancer-linked human papillomavirus (HPV) genital
The new study was published January 19 in the
medical journal JAMA Oncology – and is the first published estimate for genital HPV infections in men.
HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, in women and is detected during
routine Pap tests. HPV-related mouth and throat cancers are becoming more
common, especially among men, who are not routinely screened for the virus.
It is estimated that more than 9,000 cases of HPV-related cancers occur
in men annually.
The HPV vaccine can prevent infections -- but experts say vaccination rates
in pre-teens and young adults are far too low, especially among males.
High-risk HPV poses cancer risks to people who are infected and to their
One news article about the study quoted Dr. Tanguy Seiwert, a head and
neck cancer specialist at the University of Chicago, as saying: “Our
society keeps talking about finding 'the cure for cancer.' Frankly,
this is as close as it gets — it prevents cancer."
“Now more than ever it is vital that boys as well as girls get vaccinated
for HPV,” agreed
Dr. Kristen Royer, MD, a family medicine specialist at Boulder Community Health.
Dr. Royer says the study results prove that parents and doctors must increase
efforts to vaccinate boys and young men against HPV.
BCH follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline that
boys and girls ages 11-12 get vaccinated for HPV. Children as young as nine-years-old can be vaccinated for HPV.
Dr. Royer has helped improve adolescent vaccination rates for Boulder Community
Health patients by participating in a national research study sponsored
by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the CDC. Dr. Royer continues
to monitor adolescent BCH patients to help our community maintain and
improve our gains in adolescent immunization rates.
Parents of preteen boys and girls should schedule an appointment for an
HPV vaccination with their
primary care provider by calling 303-415-4015.