For a long time, HPV was considered a sexually transmitted illness that meant pre-cancer for women and nothing for guys. In fact, there is no existing test that can detect HPV in men, and genital warts are only diagnosed once visible. A new study, however, found that men who contract HPV through oral sex are more likely to develop cancer. Just like cervical cancer, common for women who have HPV, men are commonly stricken with two specific cancer types.
The CDC calculated that 90 percent of sexually active men have HPV, and those who contracted it orally usually get cancer of the neck and head. This new groundbreaking research was conducted by John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, broke down the data into many categories. In the categories of race and age, the researchers noticed that one group of men were at a higher risk for having HPV and developing head or neck cancer that other men. Who falls into that unfortunate category?
The study shows that middle-aged white males are the most likely to develop head or neck cancer caused by present HPV in their bodies. Furthermore, the likeliness of HPV infected men in this category developing cancer increases if they have many sexual partners. According to the study, most men in this age and racial group, have many sexual partners. This reality has caused a surge in numbers of Americans infected with cancers of the head and neck and multiplication in the various types of head and neck cancer in existence.
Recently, the study’s lead author, epidemiologist Gypsyamber D’Souza, confirmed these facts and made a comparison between sexually active men with many partners and women: her claim is that even though their behaviors are the same, men are still at a higher risk.
“Our research shows that for men, the number of oral sex partners – as that number increases, the risk of an oral HPV infection increases. Comparing men and women with the same number of sexual partners, a man is much more likely to become infected with oral HPV than a woman.”
The main differences between HPV in men and in women is the ability to heal. Once the virus is contracted, most female bodies fight off the illness, but for men, according to the research, it remains. The study’s researcher explained this difference to the Daily Mail.
“Men are not only more likely to be infected with oral HPV infection than women, but our research shows that once you become infected, men are less likely to clear this infection than women, further contributing for the cancer risk.”
Due to the number of men in America who are sexually active with many partners, HPV is spreading rapidly and now effect 80 percent of the country’s women as well. This increase in illness, according to the research is responsible for the rise in oral cancer diagnosis. Specifically, oral cancer cases have risen, and the types of head and neck cancer have increased by 225 percent. Because HPV is not preventable through contraceptives, the CDC cautions young people under the age of 26 to vaccinate themselves for protection. The trouble is that the most-infected group of people is well over the age of prevention.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings show that men are becoming more susceptible to HPV and are causing a nationwide issue.
Check out the CDC’s video with advice for HPV prevention:
[Feature Image via MedicalRf.com/Getty Images]