STD-related Cancers Increase

A USA Today article reporting on a new study of HPV cases included some alarming facts about this sexually transmitted disease.  HPV (human papilomavirus) is the most common STD in the world, and it can cause not just genital warts, but cancer.  While cases of cervical cancer have decreased (due to better screening), cancers of the head, neck,throat, tongue and tonsils have increased significantly.  In addition, according to the article, “More than 10% of men and 3.6% of women have a current oral HPV infection, according to a study published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association.”  HPV-related cancers can take decades to show up and, according to the article, “there are no early detection methods for cancers of the throat, tonsils and base of the tongue.”  When there are symptoms, “for many oral cancer patients — who tend to be in their 50s or early 60s — their first symptom is a swollen lymph node.”