25 Percent of Men Have Cancer-Causing HPV
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 25 percent of men and 20 percent of women in the United States have a strain of human papillomavirus—HPV—that causes cancer. Statistics also show that 45 percent of men and almost 40 percent of women have some strain of genital HPV—there are 109 known types—and that HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S.
Vaccines are available to protect men and women under the age of 25 from cancer-causing strains of the virus, but HPV continues to spread among older people. Some types of HPV cause genital warts, and some increase the risk for cancer of the penis, cervix, anus, throat, and mouth. Up to 70 percent of head and neck cancers may be caused by HPV, according to some experts.
There are two FDA-approved vaccines to protect against HPV—Gardasil and Cervarix. These vaccines—which are recommended for adolescent boys and girls beginning at age 11 or 12 and require two or three doses—protect against a number of strains of the virus, including those that cause cancer.
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