CDC Estimates HPV Related Cancers
Special Report - Nov 11, 2008
There were an estimated 25,000 annual cases of cancer associated with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) during 1998-2003 in 38 states and the District of Columbia, according to studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The findings are published online in the November 15 supplemental edition of the journal, Cancer, in a report entitled, “Assessing the Burden of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)-Associate Cancers in the United States.” Described by the CDC as the “first analysis of the largest, most comprehensive assessment of HPV-associated cancer data to date,” the studies used cancer registry data from the CDC and the National Cancer Institute.
HPV is the most prevalent viral sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the U.S. and is the cause of most cases of cervical cancer in women. HPV can also cause other types of cancers that are less common, such as anal cancer and cancers of the head and neck. In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a vaccine for young girls and women designed to prevent cervical cancer from four specific types of HPV.
According to the CDC report, about 10,800 HPV-associated cancers occur in the cervix every year, more than any other site of the body. Black and Hispanic women had higher rates of cervical cancer during 1998-2003 than white or non-Hispanic women. The CDC also noted that some areas of the head and neck “are more likely to be HPV-associated than other areas.” According to the CDC studies, there were nearly 7,400 “potentially HPV-associated cancers” of the oral cavity and oropharynx (i.e., “cancers of the tonsil and cancers of the base of the tongue”) each year in 1998-2003. Incidence rates for these types of cancers were more frequent in men than in women. In addition, there were an estimated 3,000 HPV-associated anal cancers each year, according to the CDC, with HPV-associated anal cancers more common in women than in men.
In addition, the CDC estimates that HPV-associated cancers accounted for 181,026 years of potential life lost (YPLL) in 2003. The lifetime productivity cost from mortality was $3.7 billion for HPV-associated cancers for that same year.
“These estimates of HPV-associated cancers were collected prior to the development of the HPV vaccine,” said Mona Saraiya, M.D., M.P.H., a medical officer in CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, who coordinated the studies. “This gives us baseline data to measure the impact of HPV vaccine and cervical cancer screening programs in reducing the incidence of cervical cancers and precancers.”
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