Head and Neck Tumors Seem Associated with HPV
A commentary in Cancer suggests that oropharyngeal cancers associated with human papillomavirus type 16 could be prevented by vaccinating adolescent boys, in addition to girls, against HPV.
The authors point to a “stagnation” in the rate of decline in the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer despite lower tobacco usage. They also cite the younger age at presentation of these cancers and the increasing prevalence of HPV-16 in tumor tissue samples.
It’s likely, they say, that the mode of viral transmission to oropharyngeal sites is through oral sex. They are concerned “that vaccination programs limited to females will only delay the potential benefit in prevention of [these] cancers, which typically occur in men.”