A rapid increase in HPV-related cancer in the US is the major concern for researchers

Currently, United States is experiencing a “concerning and remarkable” expansion in the rate of new anal cancer cases as well as deaths from the disease, mainly among young black men and elderly women, researchers stated recently. The prevalence of squamous cell carcinoma of the anus – a prevalent kind of anal cancer and is likely to increase by 2.9 percent every year in the 15 years. On the other hand, anal cancer mortality rates are expected to grow by 3.5 percent each year during that time. At this increasing rate, the disease can be regarded as one of the most rapid accelerating causes of cancer mortality and incidence in the U.S., as stated by the study’s lead author Ashish Deshmukh, an assistant professor at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston. “The rates are increasing very rapidly as well as it is alarming,” Deshmukh added. “Conventionally, our perception of anal cancer has been that it’s one of the rarest forms of cancer, and because of that, it’s neglected,” he added further.

Among some of the astonishing statistics: The risk of getting anal cancer was almost six times higher for black men born in1980s as compared to those born in the 1940s. That can be because young black men are excessively affected by HIV, which increases the risk for developing cancer, Deshmukh stated. The risk also increased among white women and white men born after 1960. The syndrome may beat cervical cancer to become the primary human papillomavirus-associated cancer in aged women, the study added. One possible reason can be that older people generally have weaker immune systems, impairing their capability to clear HPV from their bodies, and aged women outnumber older men. The proportion of cases examined when cancer had spread already to other parts of the body doubled, which suggests the increase in cases isn’t driven by more extreme screening that would catch early-stage tumors, Deshmukh said. “It’s really hard to recognize what might be causing the rise in incidence and mortality,” he added further. Possible reasons comprise riskier sexual behavior in recent years and the increase in obesity rates, which could be a prime aspect, he said.

Lastly, the vast majority of these cases are connected with the human papillomavirus, but around three-quarters of American adults are not aware of HPV causes the disease, recent research, also led by Deshmukh, found.

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