Women have been told they should have screening for cervical cancer with a pap test every year. The visit to the gynecologist or internal medicine physician has been a right of passage for most young women and most are very compliant with that annual visit throughout their lives.
Well, the times they are a-changin’ because new guidelines issued by the US Preventative Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society say women should undergo screening NO MORE OFTEN than every 3 years starting at age 21. To further strengthen this recommendation, even the American Society for Clinical Pathology (those folks that read the pap smears) agrees with the recommendation. They also recommend stopping routine pap smears after age 65 for women who have had 3 negative Pap test results in the past 10 years. These women are just not at high risk.
So why the change? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
Investigators identified a specific, previously obscure human gene associated with susceptibility to herpes simplex labialis (HSL), the common cold sore.
Cold sores affect 70% of the U.S. population. This study follows previous ones identifying a region of chromosome 21 as a base for genes possibly linked to cold sore outbreaks.
To narrow in further on the chromosome, this study used Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
A new study finds that half of men in America are infected with the HPV virus. Dr. Jon LaPook reports on the growing concern that the virus in men could be responsible for an increase in head and neck cancers.
HPV Affects Half Of U.S. Men
A study out [yesterday] in The Lancet by Moffitt Cancer Center researcher Anna Giuliano, Ph.D., and her colleagues finds that 50 percent of men ages 18 to 70 in Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S. have genital infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the virus that causes cervical cancer in women. It also causes warts and cancer of the genitals and anus in both men and women. Over the past several years, researchers have realized that the virus can also cause cancer of the head and neck.
Aimee R. Kreimer, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute, estimates that about 65 percent of the approximately 8,000 cancers of the tonsils and base of the tongue (oropharynx) seen in the U.S. in 2010 were from HPV infection; eighty percent of these are in men. The rates for HPV-associated cancers like these are increasing; for sites like the mouth and larynx that are associated with tobacco and alcohol use, the rates are decreasing (though still too high since too many people still smoke and abuse alcohol).
An infection rate of 50 percent for a virus that can cause cancer sounds scary. But knowing a few more facts about HPV helps put the risk in perspective. About 90 percent of men and women infected with HPV virus get rid of it on their own within about two years. There are many different strains of HPV — some that cause cancer and some that don’t. Only about 6 percent of men have genital infection with HPV 16 — the strain linked to more than 90 percent of cancers of the head and neck. And only about 0.6 percent of men have HPV 16 in specimens taken from their mouths; what percentage of those men go on to develop head and neck cancer is unknown. Read more »
USA Today published a pretty accurate article regarding the rise of certain head and neck cancers with the increased popularity of oral sex and number of sexual partners.
The factor that creates this link is the human papillomavirus (HPV) which is associated with tonsil and tongue cancer. Alcohol and tobacco use is more highly linked with such oral cancers, but HPV does appear to be an independent risk factor.
A 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that younger people with head and neck cancers who tested positive for oral HPV infection were more likely to have had multiple vaginal and oral sex partners in their lifetime. Having six or more oral sex partners over a lifetime was associated with a 3.4 times higher risk for oropharyngeal cancer — cancers of the base of the tongue, back of the throat, or tonsils. Having 26 or more vaginal-sex partners tripled the risk. The association continued to increase as the number of partners in either category increased.
Of greater concern is that “French” kissing may also potentially be a mode of transmission.
The good news (if you’re a young non-smoker diagnosed with HPV-positive tumors) is that about 85 percent of non-smoking people with HPV-positive tumors survive. That number drops to 45 or 50 percent in people who smoke and are HPV-negative. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*
My yearly Christmas favorite reposted, courtesy of the British National Health Service (BNHS):
(Click on the title image to watch)
I have seen several searches of this blog for the BNHS and wondered why. The answer: The site no longer carries the wonderful show, for reasons unknown to me. As for the searches, I guess the Christmas season has people thinking about sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) set to a Christmas tune.
*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*