In women, HPV is also known to cause vaginal, vulvar, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers. In men, cancers caused by HPV include penile, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers. The list of cancers with an HPV association is growing.
The following is estimation by the CDC of yearly cancers caused by genital strains of HPV:
- Over 10,000 cervical cancers
- 2,100 vulvar cancers
- 500 vaginal cancers
- 600 penile cancers
- 2,800 anal cancers in women and 1,500 anal cancers in men (this number is increasing)
- 1,700 oropharyngeal cancers in women and 6,700 oropharyngeal cancers in men (this number is increasing)
This means over 17,000 cancers a year in women and almost 9,000 cancers a year in men are attributed to infection from HPV genital strains. In addition, as noted above, the anal and oropharyngeal cancer toll from HPV is increasing. In addition to abnormal Pap smears and cancer, about 360,000 persons get genital warts from HPV annually. That translates to 1,000 cases a day. The good news is that the wart-causing strains rarely cause cancer. Many infected, highly-contagious individuals do not have any visible lesions while some develop ugly genital region warts. More bad news, a pregnant mother harboring one of the wart-causing strains may infect her newborn causing Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP), a dreadful malady of warts infecting the vocal cord area. These children develop progressive breathing problems requiring several years of repeated trips to the operating room for treatment. The epidemiology of infection with genital strains of HPV for men is different than in women. Women typically develop the infection in late teen and early adult years and the incidence of infection slowly lessens after age 30 or so. Men typically acquire HPV infection in their 20's and 30's and the drop in frequency of infection and the disappearance of HPV infection occurs far more slowly.Orange County AAP Chapter, CME Committee Chair, Dr. Harry Pellman
Oropharyngeal cancer is another type of cancer associated with HPV is:
- Cancers of the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils.
- 60% are linked to HPV [Note: Many of these cancers may be related to tobacco and alcohol use]
Most of the time, HPV goes away by itself within two years and does not cause health problems. It is thought that the immune system fights off HPV naturally. It is only when certain types of HPV do not go away over years that it can cause these cancers. It is not known why HPV goes away in most, but not all cases. There is no way to know which people will go on to develop cancer or other health problems.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Prevalence of HPV diseases
It is estimated that in 2013, there will be
~12,340 new cases of cervical cancer.
Number represents cervical cancer cases caused by all oncogenic HPV types, not just Types 16 and 18.
~7,590 new cases of vulvar/vaginal cancer
Number includes ~4,700 vulvar cases and ~2,890 vaginal and other female genital cancer cases.
Not all vulvar and vaginal cancer cases are caused by HPV. Approximately 40% of vulvar cancer cases and ~70% of vaginal cancer cases are HPV-related.
~4,430 new cases of anal cancer in females and ~2,630 new cases in males.
Every year, ~1 million new cases of genital warts are estimated to occur.
Not all vulvar, vaginal, and anal cancer cases are caused by HPV.