5 Countries with an Increased Cervical Cancer Risk Because of a Common Infection

Nov 25 2013 - 9:34am
Getting a vaccine

The threat of oral cancer is real from HPV infection.

Many people must deal daily with denial that you too could be hit with cancer. But the threat is real. In fact recent research shows an increased incidence of oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) and a possible association with human papillomavirus infection (HPV). Here are five countries where the risk of cancer is higher with this common infection.

This is not a matter that should be taken lightly and dismissed. There has been a lot of discussions in the press in recent years about a conjectured association between human papillomavirus infection (HPV) and oropharyngeal cancer (OPC). New research shows this association is for real.

A possible role for an HPV infection association with the increasing OPC incidence has been established, according to research work published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Over the years HPV has been identified as a significant cause of the rising OPC incidence in many countries. Researchers opened up an investigation to determine whether or not this represents a global phenomenon.

In recent studies an increasing incidence of OPC with HPV as the potential cause, has been observed, as reported upon in a review of this research by the National Cancer Institute. Oropharyngeal cancer develops primarily in the middle part of the throat just behind the mouth, and includes the base of the tongue, along with the side and back walls of the throat, and the tonsils. In order to determine if this increase in OPC incidence is representative of a global phenomenon, Chaturvedi and his colleageus at Ohio State University and the International Agency for Research on Cancer investigated trends for oropharyngeal and oral cavity cancers.

These researchers evaluated data from more than 180,000 patients in 23 countries. They observed that OPC incidence rose overall among both women and men between 1983 and 2002. This rising incidence of OPC was seen primarily in economically developed countries. The researchers have noted that there is an association between prophylactic HPV vaccine and protection against oral HPV infection, which suggests an additional significant benefit of vaccination programs for both women and men.

There has been a growing body of evidence which shows that HPV is a common and increasing cause of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), writes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The International Agency for Research against Cancer has noted HPV is a risk factor for OSCC, along with smoking and alcohol consumption. ThebloggingExpert reporter Robin Wulffson, MD has written about observations that oral HPV infections are on the rise.

In recent years a rise in OSCC has been seen in several countries, including:

1: Finland

2: United Kingdom

3: Netherlands

4: United States

5: Sweden

An increase in the proportion of HPV-positive tumors was likewise noted. Researchers have conjectured that rising incidence of OSCC in the United States and countries in northern Europe is because of a new HPV epidemic which is primarily sexually transmitted. This assumption has been based on observations which indicate that patients with HPV-positive cancer often experienced their first sexual experience at a young age and have multiple partners.

Over the years vaccines against some types of HPV have been administered to girls and young women in order to protect them from HPV-induced cervical cancer. Interest in this vaccine has gained further attention because HPV is associated not just with cervical cancer, but also with genital warts and other tumors, including head neck and anogenital cancers. HPV is most commonly found in OSCC.

Head and neck cancer is generally of the squamous cell carcinoma type (HNSCC). HNSCC includes cancers of various locations, including the following:

1: Oral cavity

2: Oropharynx

3: Hypopharynx