The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975–2009, shows that overall cancer death rates continued to decline in the United States among both men and women, among all major racial and ethnic groups, and for all of the most common cancer sites, including lung, colon and rectum, female breast, and prostate. However, the report also shows that death rates continued to increase during the latest time period (2000 through 2009) for melanoma of the skin (among men only) and for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and uterus. The special feature section on human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers shows that incidence rates are increasing for HPV-associated oropharyngeal and anal cancers and that vaccination coverage levels in the U.S. during 2008 and 2010 remained low among adolescent girls.
The report, produced since 1998, is co-authored by researchers from the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR). It appears early online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and will be published in print issue 3, volume 105.
The decline in overall cancer death rates continues a trend that began in the early 1990s. From 2000 through 2009, cancer death rates decreased by 1.8 percent per year among men and by 1.4 percent per year among women. Death rates among children up to 14 years of age also continued to decrease by 1.8 percent per year. During 2000 through 2009, death rates among men decreased for 10 of the 17 most common cancers (lung, prostate, colon and rectum, leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney, stomach, myeloma, oral cavity and pharynx, and larynx) and increased for melanoma of the skin and cancers of the pancreas and liver. During the same 10-year period, death rates among women decreased for 15 of the 18 most common cancers (lung, breast, colon and rectum, ovary, leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, brain and other nervous system, myeloma, kidney, stomach, cervix, bladder, esophagus, oral cavity and pharynx, and gallbladder) and increased for cancers of the pancreas, liver, and uterus.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been touted as a way to prevent cervical cancer and genital warts, but a new study suggests the vaccine may also prevent women diagnosed with precancers from developing recurrences.
Researchers randomly assigned more than 1,350 women diagnosed with genital warts or certain precancerous conditions to receive either three injections of the HPV vaccine or a placebo. The women were followed for about four years.
Women who received the vaccine had 46.2 percent lower risk of developing another HPV-related disease after treatment for their genital warts or their precancerous condition.
Typically, women treated for these types of conditions are at risk for subsequent disease later, but the study offers evidence that “vaccination offered substantial benefit” in terms of lowering that risk, wrote the international team of authors, led by Elmar Joura, an associate professor at the University of Vienna in Austria.
Experts not involved with the research told ABC News that the research is significant because it suggests for the first time that the HPV vaccine may offer benefits beyond prevention.
On Tuesday, a Centers for Disease Control panel recommended that boys ages 9-11 be vaccinated against human papilloma virus (HPV). The CDC already recommends girls be vaccinated against HPV.
HPV can cause girls to get cervical cancer later in life; 15,000 new cases are reported annually. The CDC said that 7,000 men in the U.S. get anal cancer every year.
“Some parents may say, ‘Why are you vaccinating my son against anal cancer? He’s not gay!’” Dr. Ranit Mishori told the Associated Press.
Heterosexual boys who get the HPV vaccine will also avoid transmitting HPV to women, thereby creating what is called “herd immunity.”
Between the 2 vaccines now available for protection against human papilloma virus (HPV), the quadrivalent vaccine may have an advantage over the bivalent vaccine with respect to costs and quality of life, but the bivalent vaccine may prevent more deaths from cervical cancer, according to new research.
Mark Jit, PhD, MPH, a mathematical modeler from the Health Protection Agency in London, United Kingdom, and colleagues published their findings online September 27 in the BMJ.
As described in the article, the HPV bivalent vaccine (Cervarix, GlaxoSmithKline) targets HPV types 16 and 18, which are estimated to cause more than 70% of cervical cancer cases worldwide. In contrast, in addition to HPV types 16 and 18, the quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil, Merck) also targets HPV types 6 and 11, to which anogenital warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatoses are attributed.
In 2008, the UK government selected the bivalent vaccine for protection against HPV based on a previous analysis led by the same authors, indicating that the bivalent vaccine would have to be £15 to £23 cheaper per dose to be as cost-effective as the quadrivalent vaccine because of “the lack of protection against anogenital warts,” as understood at that time. Since then, however, new data have emerged. First, studies have indicated that both the bivalent and the quadrivalent vaccines may also be effective against certain oncogenic HPV types not included in the respective vaccines. In addition, the quadrivalent vaccine has shown protection against vulvar, vaginal, and anal cancer; and the bivalent vaccine has shown some protection against anal infection, which may ultimately translate into prevention of anal cancer.
A test that detects the two strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that are most likely to raise the risk of invasive cervical cancer, when combined with the Pap test, may be more accurate for many women than the Pap test alone, a new study indicates. And, for those women who are HPV-positive, using the HPV test alone appears to be enough, said study author Philip Castle, a researcher at the American Society for Clinical Pathology Institute in Washington, D.C.
For the women who were HPV-positive, he said, “we didn’t need the Pap. We could have used the HPV alone and gotten the same results.”
The study was funded by Roche Molecular Systems, which makes an HPV test. The study is published online Aug. 22 in The Lancet Oncology.
The researchers looked at a DNA-based HPV test, made by Roche and approved in 2011 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Castle works as an unpaid consultant for the company. Other authors have received consulting fees from Roche or work as employees at the company.
Under cervical cancer screening guidelines issued by the American Cancer Society in 2002 and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2003, women aged 30 or older should have both a Pap test, also known as a Pap smear, as well as an HPV test, also called an HPV co-test. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and certain strains of the virus can cause cervical cancer.
Under current guidelines, if the results of both tests are normal, a woman can wait three years for her next Pap test, which looks for signs of cancer in cells from a woman’s cervix.
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- CDC recommends that boys get vaccinated against HPV
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