HPV Vaccines and Preventing Anal Cancer

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News circulated that a vaccine which is known to be administered to the female population can be as well administered among the male population. This vaccine is the HPV vaccine which is clinically proven to prevent the spread of the cervical cancer causing virus – the Human Papillomavirus. According to the government panel which recommends the administration of this vaccine to males, there are a lot of benefits that male will get from this vaccination, aside from indirectly protecting the females from acquiring the virus, it can also protect the males against HPV related diseases.

These benefits of HPV vaccine among the males are further supported by a new international study conducted led by author Joel Palefsky, a professor at University of California San Francisco and director of UCSF’s Anal Neoplasia Clinic. The study claims that HPV vaccine can help the male population prevent anal cancers, especially among those who are gays.

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the panel who recommends the administration of HPV vaccine among the boys who age 11 to 12 years, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. At least 50% of sexually active people will have genital HPV at some time in their lives.

The spread of HPV among the general population is bothersome because of the different diseases and malignancies that it can brought to the person affected. In fact, anal cancer is one of the diseases in United States which have an increase in number of cases diagnosed. Based on the figures of US government health statistics, there are almost 6,000 cases of anal cancer diagnosed every year in United States, and about 800 cases have died from the said condition.

The new research includes study participants from different nations such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Spain and the United States who has at least one, but not more than 5 sexual encounters. About 602 sexually active gay men from the said nations were part of the study. The study participants were randomly given shots of the HPV vaccine (Gardasil), and a placebo.

The trials were done from year 2006 to 2008, then a three years tacking down of the study participants followed. The researchers found out that those study participants who were exposed to HPV had about 54 per cent lesser lesions as compared to those who were not given the shots of Gardasil. Moreover, those individuals who were not exposed to HPV had about 75 per cent decrease rate of having HPV related anal cancer or malignancies.

Nevertheless, “The ideal time to begin vaccination would be before initiation of sexual activity, but vaccination may also be useful after initiation of sexual activity.” Palefsky said. The treatment of lesions of those individuals who acquire the disease is possible, however, prevention of these lesions are very crucial and life-saving.



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