According to the study, men who reported having many “lifetime oral sexual partners,” men who reported having sex with men (MSM), and men who had concurrent genital HPV infection had the highest rates of oral HPV. In fact, oral HPV prevalence in those with concurrent genital HPV infection “was fourfold greater than among those without it.”
Furthermore, this study was “the first to show that oral HPV infection prevalence was higher among black men compared to white men (3% greater risk), those men who smoked more than 20 cigarettes daily compared to never smokers (10% greater risk), current marijuana users (6% greater risk), and men who have had more than 16 lifetime sexual partners (almost 20% greater risk),” Dr. Deshmukh wrote to CNN
. Dr. Deshmukh told Contagion®
that although it's too early to say, some of these behaviors "could be modifiable so as to help decrease the risk of HPV."
"Prevalence of both genital HPV and oral HPV is high among men, yet, the uptake rate in many states in the US are low and we are slow in terms of improving uptake, especially among our boys," Dr. Deshmukh told Contagion®
Although there are methods available to screen for cervical cancer, there are not ways to detect oropharyngeal pre-cancer, according to Dr. Deshmukh. Thus, the authors concluded that future research should focus on making improvements when it comes to preventing against OPSCC, as well as strengthening screening and early detection procedures to fight back against cancer in this high-risk population.
"Education efforts and raising awareness among the community is imperative to improve uptake so that we can combat six (HPV-related) preventable cancers," Dr. Deshmukh told Contagion®
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