Anal Cancer Rates Are Soaring

HPV vaccination could stem the increase, say researchers
Peter Wehrwein

Anal cancer incidence and mortality has soared in the last 15 years, according to findings reported in this month's issue of Journal of the National Cancer Institute.   

Incidence and mortality have doubled for people in their 50s and 60s, reported a research team led by Ashish A. Deshmukh, PhD, MPH,  an assistant professor at UTHealth School of Public Health.

They also found that new diagnoses among black men born after the mid-’80s increased fivefold compared with those born in the mid-’40s.

Cancer of the anus is most similar to cervical cancer, noted a UTHealth press release about the study. An abstract of the study is available but full text is behind JNCI's paywall.

HPV causes 90% of anal cancers

Nearly  90% of anal cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The CDC guidelines for HPV vaccination cover children, teens, and young adults, but older adults can get vaccinated. 

“The vaccine can also be considered for individuals ages 27 to 45 based on shared decision-making, so it is important that adults speak with their health care providers about getting the vaccine,” Deshmukh was quoted as saying.