The Dallas Morning News reported on Saturday that HPV, an STD that has been causing cervical cancer in women at alarming rates, is now causing as many cases of throat cancer in men as tobacco and alcohol.
The only vaccine developped to protect against HPV is Gardasil, and it is only given to women. However, Merck, the company that makes Gardasil, is seeking approval for the vaccine from the FDA later this year, which means a government decision would be handed down in 2009.
The good news is that oral cancers caused by HPV respond better to treatment than cancers caused by smoking and alcohol. However, if trends continue, the cases of HPV induced oral cancer will exceed those cancers caused by smoking and drinking.
The report comes as quite an alarm after years and years of hearing about HPV and its dangers to women. Much emphasis has been placed on the Gardasil vaccine for women at their yearly check-up, and much controversy has surrounded the vaccine and whether or not it should be mandatory in each state.
Now that men are at a relatively equal risk for cancer cause by HPV, how quickly will Merck and the FDA respond? And will the same vaccine for women really work for men as well?
Published On: February 04, 2008