Medicine

More than 1 in 5 adults has cancer-causing HPV, CDC reports

More than 1 in 5 adults has cancer-causing HPV, CDC reports

Nearly 23% of adults (ages 18 to 59) in the United States are affected by high-risk genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause cancer during a two-year period from 2013 to 2014, according to the latest report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The figure actually increases to more than 42 percent between 2013 and 2014 if all forms of genital HPV are included, according to the CDC report. In other words, while new HPV estimates show preventably high numbers (specifically that one in five American adults has high-risk HPV), it definitely doesn't have to be that way. About 25 percent of the men were infected with a high-risk strain of genital HPV, compared with 20 percent of women. This virus responsible for particular types of genital cancer, causing infected people to be in a high-risk state. If that statistic seems alarming, that's because it is - especially given the fact that the HPV vaccine has been proven to be successful. The HPV vaccine was first recommended for adolescent girls in the United States in 2006, and since then, the prevalence of the cancer-causing virus dropped among young women, a 2016 study found.

"We tend to overlook the fact that 20 percent of us are carrying the virus that can cause cancer", said Geraldine McQuillan, lead author of the report and a senior infectious disease epidemiologist at the Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys in the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. (L) gives an HPV vaccination to a 13-year-old girl in her office at the Miller School of Medicine on September 21, 2011 in Miami, Florida. "People need to realize that this is a serious concern".

Men are more likely than women to be infected with both the low-risk and the high-risk strains of the virus. "This vaccine has the potential to prevent 30,000 cases of cancer each year and is woefully underused". The agency has stated that even when the vaccination rates are augmenting, the rates among boys and girls are not as high as expected.

The new rules came after years of campaigns from cancer experts insisting an easier schedule would encourage more people to protect themselves from the sexually-transmitted infection.

'The way [the vaccine] was introduced in Australia and the United Kingdom was as a cancer vaccine, which is truly what it is. "It is a cancer vaccine", Paskett said.

The prevalence of oral HPV was lowest among Asian adults and highest among black adults.

Recent research from the CDC this week showed that almost half of Americans are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV).

There a body of misconceptions and fears that could be producing the stagnation of the vaccination rates among the young says Electra Paskett, a cancer control researcher at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.


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