The culprit: Human papillomavirus (HPV), the same sexually transmitted infection associated with cervical cancer in women.
A huge spike in the number of head and neck cancers linked to HPV over nearly two decades is raising alarms about the risk of the sexually contracted infections in a whole new population: men.
A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports there’s been a 225 percent uptick in HPV-positive oropharynx cancers since 1998, according to data from three U.S. cancer centers. The study also predicts that by 2020, oropharyngeal cancer will be the most common HPV-associated cancer in the U.S. surpassing cervical cancer.
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