CDC

How Anti-Vaxxers Ruined Disneyland for Themselves (and everyone else)

Source: io9.com
Author: Robbie Gonzalaz
 

“The Happiest Place On Earth” is ground zero for a recent measles outbreak centered in California. Now, unvaccinated people are being warned to avoid visiting Disneyland parks.

No Infants In Disneyland

There are now 67 confirmed cases of measles in an ongoing outbreak centered in California. According to the California Department of Public Health, 59 of the cases are in-state. Among the 34 California patients for whom vaccination status is known, 28 were unvaccinated and one had received partial vaccination. Only five were fully vaccinated.

Forty-two of the California cases have been linked to an initial exposure at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park, and while cases were originally tied to people who visited the park in mid-December, state health officials now note other cases visited Disney parks in January. According to the CDC, the majority of measles cases reported so far during 2015 have been part of the “large, ongoing outbreak” connected with these parks.

Last year, there were 644 measles cases documented in 27 states – the biggest annual numberin close to a quarter century. For those hoping to avoid seeing similar infection rates in 2015, the year is off to an inauspicious start.

Unvaccinated people are now being warned to avoid visiting Disneyland parks. The reasoning is simple: Most people who get measles are unvaccinated, and the disease spreads easiest when when it reaches a community where large groups of people are unvaccinated. Limiting the number of unvaccinated people in the park therefore not only protects them from themselves, it protects the immunized visitors, as well.

It also protects those too young to be immunized. Of the measles patients who have been hospitalized in this recent outbreak, six cases have been in infants too young to be vaccinated, whether their parents want them immunized or not.

“I would recommend that infants are not taken to places like Disneyland today,” said Gil Chavez, deputy director of the California Department of Public Health’s Center for Infectious Diseases, in an interview with the LA Times. Yesterday, Chavez implored parents to take action to protect not only their own children, but other children who might be affected by their decisions.

“I am asking unvaccinated Californians to consider getting immunized,” Chavez said. “We have a particular responsibility to protect all of our infants in the state until they are old enough to be vaccinated.”

This is how the anti-vaccination movement ruined Disneyland, not just for those who would actively refuse vaccines, but for everyone else. The cause for measles’s resurgence is as unambiguous today as it has been in recent months. Last May, Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases stated unambiguously that “the current increase in measles cases is being driven by unvaccinated people.” Yesterday, pediatric infectious disease specialist James Cherry told the New York Times that the Disneyland outbreak was “100 percent connected” to the anti-vaccine movement. “It wouldn’t have happened otherwise — it wouldn’t have gone anywhere,” he said.

When Anti-Vaxxers Cluster

Of course, the ill-effects of the anti-vaccination movement are not limited to Disneyland. The consequences of refused vaccinations are felt anywhere that people gather, allowing diseases like measles to spread vast distances very quickly. Venues like theme parks and airports are considered potential flashpoints, because they see a lot of international travelers, who may originate from countries where diseases like measles have yet to be eliminated.

Schools also pose a serious challenge. While state officials have not gone so far as to ban unvaccinated people from visiting Disneyland altogether, such measures have recently been taken at California schools. Health officials in Orange County this week issued more than 20 letters to parents stating that students who could not prove they had received a measles vaccine could be barred from class. (The Journal of the American Medical Association has published research this week on legal strategies for combating the growing danger of nonmedical vaccine refusal.)

The major concern of California health officials is that school vaccination rates remain above 95% – a threshold critical to maintaining herd immunity. Statewide, the vaccination exemption rate among California kindergartners was 3.1% for the 2013–2014 school year, but there are pockets across the state where exemption rates have crept into the double digits.

A newly published study on anti-vaccination patterns is the latest to highlight some of these pockets. The study, which was led by Kaiser Permanente Division of Research Director Tracy Lieu and appears in this week’s issue of the journal Pediatrics, finds that parents who opt out of vaccinating their children tend to cluster, creating geographic hot-spots where large percentages of children receive no vaccines or are under-immunized. The findings could explain how a disease like measles – which was officially “eliminated” from the U.S. in 2000 – has managed to acquire so firm a foothold within the American population.

NPR’s Liza Gross reports on the study, and an ironic consequence of this clustering effect:

“If these parents were distributed randomly, their decisions would be less likely to harm others, especially babies too young for vaccination. But parents who use personal belief exemptions to avoid school vaccination requirements often live in the same communities, studies have found.

And parents of children too young to go to school do, too… These younger children face the highest risk of dying from whooping cough and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

…The main problem with this clustering behavior, says [Saad Omer, a researcher at Emory University who found that clusters of personal belief exemptions contributed to the 2010 California whooping cough epidemic that killed 10 babies], is that every child’s risk for disease depends on what others do. That’s because no vaccine is 100 percent effective, so even a vaccinated child could get sick if exposed.”

Lieu’s team also identified five clusters where all vaccines were refused for close to 9,000 babies and toddlers in the study:

– 10.2 percent of children in an area from El Cerrito to Alameda

– 7.4 percent in northeastern San Francisco

– 6.6 percent in Marin and southwest Sonoma counties

– 5.5 percent in northeastern Sacramento County and Roseville

– 13.5 percent of kids in a small area south of Sacramento

“These are early signals,” says Lieu. “These kinds of clusters can be associated with later epidemics.”

In an interview with the NYT, Jane Seward, deputy director of the viral diseases division at the CDC, echoes Lieu’s sentiment:

“The problem is that there are these pockets with low vaccination rates… if a case comes into a population where a lot of people are unvaccinated, that’s where you get the outbreak and where you get the spread.”

 

*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

 

January, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

The Cancer Cure Parents Aren’t Using

Source: washingtonpost.com
Author: Meredith Wadman

 

Not so long ago, when my sons still had smooth cheeks and children’s voices, I had them vaccinated against human papillomavirus, the most common sexually transmitted disease. It was late 2011, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had just recommended that boys join girls in being vaccinated at age 11 or 12. I was certainly receptive: HPV, as it’s commonly called, causes cervical cancer, cancer of the tonsils, cancer of the back of the tongue and, less often, cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus and penis. It seemed important to ensure that my kids were protected.

Yet numbers released last month by the CDC show that my sons, now 14 and 15, are among a small minority of adolescent males who have been vaccinated. In 2013, just 14 percent of American boys ages 13 to 17 had received all three recommended doses of the HPV vaccine. (The CDC also recommends “catch-up” vaccination for males up to age 21.)

Not that parents are rushing to have their girls vaccinated either, even though the CDC first recommended the vaccine for prepubescent girls in 2007 and virtually all insurers pay for it. In 2013, fewer than 38 percent of American girls between 13 and 17 had received the full three-dose course.

It is heartbreaking to watch a safe, effective vaccine go unused. Consider this: The CDC estimates that increasing the vaccination rate of American girls to 80 percent would prevent 53,000 cervical cancers during the lifetimes of girls who are now 12 and younger.

When I had my sons vaccinated, it was partly with girls in mind. After all, if fewer young men are infected, fewer young women will be exposed to the virus that causes cervical cancer — currently the most common cancer prevented by the vaccine. But now I am realizing that HPV poses a growing risk to boys.

A new breed of cancer of the back of the tongue and tonsils, caused by HPV, is rising in incidence — likely caused, researchers suspect, by increases in premarital sex and oral sex over the past several decades. These cancers afflict men far more often than women, and at relatively younger ages than do other head and neck cancers, which typically appear in men older than 60. Middle-aged men who don’t die from their HPV-linked cancer often must live for years with the side effects of intensive chemotherapy and radiation delivered to the back of the throat. These can include the permanent inability to swallow and the appearance later ofnew, aggressive, radiation-induced cancers.

If this trend continues, we are going to see more cancer of the back of the tongue and the tonsils caused by HPV. One recent analysis of 30 studies, conducted by University of Wisconsin researchers, found that the proportion of such cancers caused by HPV rose from 21 percent before 1990 to 65 percent after 2000. Anil Chaturvedi of the National Cancer Institute and his colleagues have estimated, based on recent trends, that by 2020 there will be more new cases of these HPV-induced throat cancers in the United States each year than new cervical cancer cases.

So the actor Michael Douglas did us all a service when he was so frank with Britain’s Guardian newspaper last year. When asked if his throat cancer had been caused by heavy drinking and smoking, which are also risk factors for the disease, the actor replied: “No. I mean, without getting too specific, this particular cancer in tests is caused by something called HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”

Many parents don’t like to think of their 11- and 12-year-olds as sexual creatures. Ironically, the CDC recommendation assumes not that kids are sexually active at this tender age but rather that they are not: The point of vaccination is to close the door before the horse is out of the barn.

It’s no use telling yourself that your child isn’t “that kind” of kid. The fact is, HPV is so common that almost all sexually active adults are infected at some point. Last year, the CDC estimated that about 79 million Americans were infected, most of them in their late teens and early 20s.

Most people who get HPV have a transient infection that their immune system clears with no lasting damage. But in some people, the virus takes up residence and goes on to cause cancer. I am grateful that, thanks to the HPV vaccine, I will never have to find out if my sons fell into that second, unlucky group.

 *This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.
 
August, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

CDC finds coverage for HPV vaccination among teens is still low

Source: medicalnewstoday.com
Author: staff
 

Although there has been a slight increase in human papillomavirus vaccination coverage among adolescents since 2012, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that vaccine coverage in this population remains “unacceptably low”.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US. There are more than 150 types of HPV, 40 of which can be contracted through skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal or oral sex.

Low-risk HPV types, such as HPV-6 and HPV-11, can cause warts around the genitals or anus. But high-risk types, including HPV-16 and HPV-18, account for approximately 5% of all cancers worldwide.

Specifically, HPV-16 and HPV-18 account for around 70% of all cervical cancers and almost 50% of all vaginal, vulvar and penile cancers. HPV-16 is also accountable for more than 50% of throat cancers.

There are currently two vaccines available for HPV, which are administered in three shots over 6 months. Cervarix and Gardasil are used for the prevention of cervical cancer, while Gardasil can also protect against anal, vulvar andvaginal cancers and genital warts.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that preteen girls and boys aged 11 or 12 are vaccinated against HPV. The vaccination is also recommended for teenage girls and young women up to the age of 26 who did not receive it when they were younger, and teenage boys and young men up to the age of 21.

HPV vaccination coverage increased in 2012-13, but remains too low

But despite these recommendations, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – published in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report – estimates that in 2013, only 57% of girls and 35% of boys ages 13-17 years received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine.

The figures came from results of the CDC’s National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen), which includes vaccine information via telephone surveys for adolescents aged 13-17 years from across the US.

The CDC investigators did, however, find that HPV vaccination coverage increased slightly among girls between 2012-13, from 53.8% to 57.3%, although only a third received the complete three doses. Teenage boys saw a greater increase in vaccination coverage, from 20.8% to 34.6%.

But still, the CDC say HPV vaccination coverage among adolescents is too low, particularly when compared with coverage to other vaccination types. For example, another report from the CDC found that almost 86% of adolescents received one dose of the Tdap vaccine last year, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.

A 10-year national objective in the US – set in 2010 by Healthy People 2020 – is to reach 80% HPV vaccination coverage among adolescents. These latest statistics suggest there is a lot of work to be done. But lead author of the report, Shannon Stokley, assistant director for science at the CDC’s Immunization Services Division, says they also show the 80% vaccination coverage target is realistic:

“The data on missed vaccination opportunities tells us that it is possible. When we look at the most recent cohort of girls that turned 13, 91% of them had a health care encounter where they could have started the HPV vaccine series before their 13th birthday.

Also, 86% of 13-17 year-olds have received the Tdap vaccine. What these numbers tell us is that preteens and teens are getting to the doctor and they are getting vaccinated, but they aren’t always receiving the HPV vaccine.” 

Why is HPV vaccination coverage still low?

From NIS-Teen, the CDC investigators were also able to establish some reasons as to why HPV vaccination coverage remains low among adolescents.

They found that clinicians’ recommendations significantly influenced a parent’s decision of whether to have their children vaccinated against HPV.

Of parents whose daughters were vaccinated, 74% said they received a recommendation from their doctor, while 52% of parents who did not have their daughters vaccinated received a doctor’s recommendation. Among parents whose sons were vaccinated, 72% received a recommendation, while only 26% of parents whose sons were not vaccinated received a recommendation.

Based on these findings, Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, believes health care professionals are key in boosting HPV vaccination coverage among adolescents in the US.

“Pediatricians and family physicians are uniquely situated to prevent missed opportunities by giving HPV vaccine during the same visit they give Tdap and meningococcal vaccines,” she adds.

Parents also revealed that concerns over the safety of the HPV vaccine deterred them from vaccinating their children. However, the CDC stress that – after analyzing national postlicensure vaccine safety data – no serious safety concerns have been linked to the HPV vaccine in the 8 years it has been available.

The investigators point out that the most commonly reported side effects of the vaccine include dizziness, fainting, nausea and headache, and injection-site reactions – including pain, redness and swelling.

When we asked Stokely what needs to be done to alleviate parents’ concerns about vaccinating their children against HPV, she replied:

“Parents need to see information in mainstream media that HPV vaccination is very effective at preventing infection with the types of HPV that cause the most cancers. Parents also need to hear that the HPV vaccine is safe and that it is recommended to be given when their children are 11 or 12 years old, before their risk of acquiring an HPV infection increases.”

In conclusion to the report, the CDC say they will continue efforts to team up with state and local immunization programs, cancer organizations, professional organizations and other stakeholders in an attempt to educate parents and health care professionals about the importance of the HPV vaccine, adding:

“Collaborative efforts remain critical to promoting HPV vaccination so that the nation’s adolescents are protected against vaccine-preventable, HPV-associated cancers.”

Earlier this year, Medical News Today reported on a study claiming that two thirds of healthy American adults areinfected with one or more of 109 strains of HPV.

 
*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.
 
July, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

High-Risk HPV Prevalent in Oropharyngeal Cancers

Author: Roxanne Nelson
Source: medscape.com
 

A larger percentage of oropharyngeal cancers might be related to human papillomavirus (HPV) than previously thought. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in a large sample of invasive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas, 72% were positive for HPV and 62% were positive for high-risk HPV types 16 and 18, which are covered by the 2 commercially available vaccines (Gardasil, Merck & Co.;Cervarix, GlaxoSmithKline).

On the basis of these data, the CDC researchers suggest that vaccines could prevent most oropharyngeal cancers in the United States.

The vaccines are marketed mainly for the prevention of cervical cancer, but there is hope, and some evidence, that the vaccines might also protect against oropharyngeal cancer. For example, last year, the Costa Rica HPV Vaccine Trial found that the Cervarix vaccine reduced oral HPV infections in women by more than 90%.

However, the effect of the vaccines could vary by demographic factors; HPV prevalence differed by sex and race/ethnicity, the researchers note.

In their study, Martin Steinau, PhD, senior scientist at the CDC, and colleagues report that the current global incidence of oropharyngeal cancers is estimated to be 85,000 annually, although there is considerable geographic variation. In the United States, there are about 12,000 new cases diagnosed every year, and most are classified histologically as squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC).

The retrospective analysis was published in the May issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Study Details

Dr. Steinau and colleagues sought to determine prevalence of HPV types detected in oropharyngeal cancers in the American population, and to establish a prevaccine baseline for monitoring the impact of vaccination.

They examined oropharyngeal tumors from 588 patients.

HPV was detected in 403 of the 557 patients with OPSCC (72.4%), and 396 (71.1%) were positive for only 1 or no high-risk types. A single HPV type was detected in 68.4% of cases, and 3.9% of samples contained 2 types. In 7 cases, only low-risk HPV types were detected. High-risk HPV16 was present in 337 (60.5%) cases, HPV18 was present in 14 (2.5%) cases, and 331 (59.4%) cases were exclusively positive for these 2 types.

Other high-risk types, including HPV31, 33, 35, 39, 45, and 52, were found at low frequency, the researchers point out.

There were differences in prevalence based on sex and race/ethnicity. The prevalence of the high-risk HPV16 and HPV18 was lower in women than in men (53%vs 66%), and in non-Hispanic black than other racial/ethnic groups (31% vs 68% to 80%).

When the researchers conducted a multivariate analysis for high-risk HPV, only race/ethnicity emerged as a significant independent factor (P = .003). The odds for high-risk HPV infections were significantly higher for all other race groups than for non-Hispanic black patients (P < .001).

When only HPV16/18 detection was considered, there were significant differences between those infected and those not infected for sex (P = .009) and race/ethnicity (P < .001), but not for age (P = .063).

“Future assessments are needed to monitor general prevalence and possible type-specific shifts,” the researchers conclude. “Data from the present and future studies will provide a baseline for early assessment of vaccine effects.”

This project was supported in part by CDC grants and federal funds for Residual Tissue Repositories from the National Cancer Institute SEER Population-based Registry Program, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. Coauthor Brenda Y. Hernandez reports receiving consultation and speaker fees from Merck and Co.

 

* This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

May, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

Fewer teens having oral sex

Source: CNN.com

Fewer teens aged 15 to 17 are having oral sex now than in 2002, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, but the number remains high.

The report, based on data from The National Survey of Family Growth, found that more than a third of teens had engaged in oral sex by the time they turned 17. That number climbed to almost 50% by age 19, and more than 80% for 24-year-olds.

The study – based on computer surveys given to over 6,000 teens – also looked at the timing of first oral sex in relation to the timing of first vaginal intercourse. It found that the prevalence of having oral sex before vaginal intercourse was about the same as those having vaginal intercourse before oral sex.

“This new CDC analysis debunks many myths about when young people are initiating oral sex,” wrote Leslie Kantor, vice president for education at Planned Parenthood, a family planning advocacy group. “Although there has never been data to support it, there has been the perception that many teens engage in oral sex as a ‘risk-free’ alternative to intercourse. But the CDC analysis shows that sexually active young people are likely to engage in both activities,” she wrote.

How Americans view teen sex

But oral sex, like vaginal intercourse, is not risk-free. According to the CDC’s website, “numerous studies have demonstrated that oral sex can result in the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted disease,” not the least of which is Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the disease known to cause both cervical and some throat cancers.

“It’s widely accepted that there is an increased number of head and neck cancers today due to changes in sexual practices in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s,” – specifically, an increase in oral sex, said Dr. Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

Regardless of whether teens have oral or vaginal sex first, Kantor says, it’s imperative they have the knowledge to make an educated decision about their sexual health.

“We need to make sure that young people have the skills to negotiate what they do and don’t want to do in sexual relationships, as well as education about and access to condoms and birth control so that they can protect themselves from STDs and pregnancy and remain healthy,” she wrote.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

August, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Viral Marketing: What’s Stopping Men From Getting the HPV Vaccine

Source: GOOD Mobile

By: Jake Blumgart on July 6, 2012 at 3:00AM PDT

In early 2011, my doctor informed me that a vaccine to protect against the human papillomavirus—HPV—was now available for men. I was relieved, then frustrated—my doctor didn’t actually offer the principal vaccine, Gardasil, to her male patients. After a couple days of hunting around town, I finally found the vaccine at the Mazzoni Center, a LGBT health clinic in downtown Philly. I received all three shots, and joined the less than 1 percent of American men who are vaccinated against the most dangerous strains of the virus.

While I was exceedingly grateful to the Mazzoni Center inoculating me, I knew of only one other male friend who’d received his shots. So since I got my shots, I’ve made a point of discussing my experience with any friend, acquaintance, or bemused bystander who will listen. And I’ve learned two things about young, straight men and HPV: We all know it exists, and not much else.

When I posted about my vaccinations on Facebook and Twitter, the response was largely positive—but the dozen or so likes and comments mainly came from my female friends. When I brought up the issue with a few straight guys, they seemed confused about my decision to air the information in public. Embarrassed, I let the conversation drop. But a couple weeks later, I received a Facebook message from an acquaintance in another city, freaking out about his own HPV scare, and asking me whether he could be vaccinated, and where. My status update provided a rare safe zone around a toxic topic.

Like local zoning policy, a death in the family, or what actually lurks within Taco Bell tacos, few people feel comfortable talking publicly about STDs. There’s no better environment for breeding misinformation than the dense cocoon of embarrassment we’ve woven around sex. The result is that most men I’ve spoken with are familiar with just one statistic that pervades the conversation around HPV: An estimated 50 to 80 percent of American adults will contract it. The universality of the threat engenders a laissez-faire attitude: Fuck it. I probably already have HPV, as do all my peers. Why worry?

The stats above are as accurate as we have. But the real story of HPV is more complicated. There are more than 130 strains of HPV, and the vast majority of them do no harm: No cancer, no warts, nothing. Most immune systems take care of the few nastiest strains just as they would any other virus. Then again, some don’t.

“[Nearly] everyone is going to be HPV positive in their lifetime, but we are only worried about the people who have an immune system who cannot clear the infection,” says Brian Hill, president of the Oral Cancer Foundation and a survivor of HPV-related oral cancer, which was located at the base of his tongue in 1997, before the virus was recognized as a cause. “Of the 99 percent of people that engage in a sexual activity that transfers the virus, orally or genitally, only 1 percent will have it cascade into a cellular event. It’s the luck of the draw in having a gene pool that does not recognize HPV 16”—the dominant cancer-causing strain—“as a threat.”

There’s no way to tell if you, or your partner, lost the genetic lottery. HPV is transmittable through skin-to-skin contact, so condoms aren’t as effective as they are at, say, preventing HIV/AIDS. There aren’t even worthwhile tests to determine if you have a dangerous HPV infection or, unnervingly, a way to test for the penile cancer HPV can cause. Anal and oral cancer screenings exist, but dental insurance often does not cover the latter, as I found to my dismay when I booked one while researching this article. (I decided that the $65 out-of-pocket fee was worth protecting against tumors on my tonsils.)

The truth is that most young men don’t know about the risks of HPV—and their options for preventing it—because our culture’s sexual awkwardness distorts corporate, government, and even scientific decision-making. In the mid-2000s, before the vaccination was marketed to the public, the CDC conducted extensive focus group research to ascertain the American public knowledge of, and attitude toward, HPV. “Current focus-group findings revealed that STD-associated stigma served as a barrier to HPV-vaccine acceptability,” the researchers found. “[E]xperts…cautioned strongly against focusing primarily on the sexually transmitted nature of HPV…which can be stigmatizing and detract from the more important public health concern of cervical cancer.”

Merck took note. The results can be seen in the company’s initial “One Less” advertising campaign, which used images of jump-roping school girls to advocate the vaccination use for girls ages 9 to 26. Any mention of sexual transmission, genital warts, male victims, and non-cervical HPV-linked cancers are noticeably absent. I don’t remember seeing those ads, which were rolled out in late 2006, in the midst of my higher education. But my college girlfriend knew about HPV and Gardasil, and I’m sure her awareness was directly affected by Merck’s framing. I remember her frustration at learning of another negative consequence of sex—and that women, as usual, were expected to bear its financial and health costs. Neither of us knew that men could be anything more than passive carriers, or that the vaccine might eventually be available to both genders. “When we talk to guys, often young men especially will say, oh, but that’s the girl vaccine,” says Dr. Robert Winn, Medical Director of the Mazzoni Center. The culture of silence around men and HPV means that the burden is on women to protect themselves and their partners—and that the virus can be doubly dangerous for men. Of the HPV-associated cancers, cervical cancer (11,967 cases annually) is only slightly more prevalent than oral cancer (11,726). The death rates are three times higher for the latter, and men are far more likely to contract it. In a population of 100,00, 6.2 men and 1.4 women are diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancer. Of the 2,500 cases of HPV-related anal cancer reported annually, 900 are in men and 1,600 in women. According to the CDC, men who have sex with men are 17 times more likely to contract anal cancer. Prevalence rates are also higher among those with HIV/AIDS. Some of the statistics on male HPV rates are still emerging, but the idea that HPV affects men, too, has long been obvious. “When vaccines were being developed, HPV had the clearest causal link to cervical cancer,” says Adina Nack, Associate Professor of Sociology at California Lutheran University and author of Damaged Goods: Women Living With Incurable Sexually Transmitted Diseases. “[But] they knew boys contract it. Boys transmit it. There was already a growing body of clinical research that some cancers men suffer from are caused by the same strains of HPV.” Three years after the 2006 release for women, the vaccines were quietly approved for men. Neither Merck nor the U.S. government widely advertises its universal availability. I consider myself relatively plugged-in when it comes to sexual health, and I didn’t learn I could use the vaccine until 2011—two years of exposure while protection was there, unknown and unasked for. But in men, the HPV vaccine is still only approved as a defense against genital warts and anal cancer. Oral cancer is not officially one of the cancers Gardasil protects against, although the CDC notes that it’s “likely that this vaccine also protects men from other HPV-related cancers,” like cancers of the penis and the back of the throat. The Oral Cancer Foundation has been pushing for studies on the issue, but Merck announced in 2010 that it had no “plans to study the potential of Gardasil to prevent HPV-related [oral] cancers.” These false assumptions can be easily reversed. But men and women are still paying for Merck’s crappy reasoning. It would be great if the CDC conducted a sweeping public health campaign to alert Americans to the full facts about HPV and its vaccines. Merck should advertise its services to both men and women. But with the institutional players showing little inclination to try another big push for HPV vaccination, word of mouth  remains our principal sources of information about HPV protection. So start calling your local clinics—LGBT and otherwise—to see if they offer free shots. And when you get your vaccine, tell everyone who will listen.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

HPV Cancer Hits 8,000 Men, 18,000 Women a Year

Source: WebMD.com

HPV cancer isn’t just a female problem, new CDC figures show.

Although HPV causes 18,000 cancers in women each year, it also causes 8,000 cancers in men, the CDC calculates. To get the figures, CDC researchers analyzed data collected from 2004 to 2008 in two large cancer registries.

HPV, human papillomavirus, is the cause of nearly all cervical cancers. But that’s obviously not the only cancer caused by this sexually transmitted virus.

HPV also causes about two-thirds of mouth/throat (oropharyngeal) cancers, 93% of anal cancers, and more than a third of penile cancers. Men are four times more likely than women to get HPV mouth/throat cancer, while women are more likely than men to get HPV anal cancer.

Clearly, HPV is not just a female problem. Yet it was only last year that one of the two FDA-approved HPV vaccines was recommended for teen boys. Gardasil was recommended for girls in 2006; Cervarix was recommended for girls in 2009.

“HPV vaccines are important prevention tools to reduce the incidence of non-cervical cancers,” the CDC notes in a report in the April 20 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “Transmission of HPV also can be reduced through condom use and limiting the number of sexual partners.”

HPV vaccines are most effective when given before people become sexually active. Yet in 2010, less than a third of teen girls had received all three doses of HPV vaccines. Numbers aren’t yet available for boys.

The slow uptake of the vaccine by teen girls is in stark contrast to the contribution HPV makes to women’s cancer risk. Taken together, HPV cancers are more common than ovarian cancers, and nearly as common as melanoma skin cancers in women.

Among men, HPV cancers are about as common as invasive brain cancers.

HPV Prevention

HPV is an extremely common sexually transmitted infection. At least half of sexually active people get HPV at some time during their lives. At any given time, more than 20 million Americans carry the virus.

Each HPV infection usually clears after a year or two. But that doesn’t always happen. Those HPV infections that persist can lead to the development of cancers.

Although condom use and limiting the number of one’s sex partners reduce HPV spread, vaccination — before a person becomes sexually active — is the surest way to prevent infection.

The Cervarix HPV vaccine protects against the two HPV strains most likely to cause cervical cancer. The Gardasil HPV vaccine protects against these and two other HPV strains.

Routine vaccination with three doses of Cervarix or Gardasil is recommended for girls aged 11 or 12. Routine vaccination with three doses of Gardasil is recommended for boys aged 11 or 12. Catch-up vaccination is recommended for females through age 26 and for males through age 21.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

April, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

CDC report releases updated information on HPV-associated cancers

Source: www.dentistryiq.com
Author: staff

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on April 24, 2012, an updated statistical count on the prevalence of HPV-associated cancers in the United States. Oropharyngeal cancers, primarily the base of the tongue and tonsils, were the second most common after cervical cancer.

Published in the April 20 edition of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the report, titled, ”Human Papillomavirus-Associated Cancers — United States, 2004–2008,” provides updated information from an analysis of data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia from the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program.

An average of 33,369 HPV-associated cancers were diagnosed annually (rate = 10.8 per 100,000 population), including 11,726 cases of oropharyngeal cancers. CDC estimates that about 7,400—63%—of the cases of oropharyngeal cancer each year were attributable to HPV infection. These cancers were found three times more frequently among men.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on April 24, 2012, an updated statistical count on the prevalence of HPV-associated cancers in the United States. Oropharyngeal cancers, primarily the base of the tongue and tonsils, were the second most common after cervical cancer.

Published in the April 20 edition of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the report, titled, ”Human Papillomavirus-Associated Cancers — United States, 2004–2008,” provides updated information from an analysis of data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia from the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program.

An average of 33,369 HPV-associated cancers were diagnosed annually (rate = 10.8 per 100,000 population), including 11,726 cases of oropharyngeal cancers. CDC estimates that about 7,400—63%—of the cases of oropharyngeal cancer each year were attributable to HPV infection. These cancers were found three times more frequently among men.

View the CDC report here.

April, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Young Girls More Likely to Report Side Effects after HPV Vaccine

Source: Therapeutics Daily

PORTLAND, Ore., April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Younger girls are more likely than adult women to report side effects after receiving Gardasil, the human papillomavirus vaccine. The side effects are non-serious and similar to those associated with other vaccines, according to a new study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the Journal of Women’s Health.

As part of an ongoing study and evaluation of this relatively new vaccine, researchers surveyed 899 girls and young women (ages 11-26) within two weeks after they received the Gardasil vaccine injection in the upper arm. The survey, which took place in 2008, also found that while most girls and young women did know that the vaccine can prevent cervical cancer, and that three doses are recommended, many didn’t know that the vaccine can also prevent genital warts and abnormal pap smears.

“Gardasil is an important cancer-prevention vaccine, but too few girls are getting it. Our study found that young girls do have some knowledge about the vaccine, but they need to know more. If these girls and their parents know what to expect, they will likely be less afraid of getting the vaccine,” said study lead author Allison Naleway, PhD, a senior investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.

Since 2006, the CDC has recommended Gardasil for girls ages 11-12, and for older girls and women (ages 13-26) who did not receive the vaccine when they were younger. The CDC also recently recommended Gardasil for boys ages 11-12, and for older boys and men (ages 13-21) who did not receive the vaccine when they were younger.

Information about side effects has been reported by the manufacturer, the CDC, and by the federal government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, but this study is one of the first to survey girls themselves shortly after they received the vaccine. Many other studies have relied on information reported by health care providers and parents.

For this study, researchers used electronic health records to identify 3,490 Oregon and Washington girls and young women (ages 11-26) who received their first dose of HPV vaccine between February and September of 2008.  Within a week of vaccination, researchers sent out surveys to young women ages 18-26. For girls under 18, researchers notified parents that their daughters would be receiving the surveys the following week, and gave the parents a choice to opt out. The survey included 50 questions about vaccine side effects, about girls’ knowledge of the vaccine and the HPV virus, and about what kind of information their doctors shared with them before vaccine administration.

Of the 899 girls and women who responded to the survey, 78 percent reported pain when receiving the vaccine. Seventeen percent reported bruising or discoloration, 14 percent said they had swelling at the injection site, 15 percent reported dizziness, and 1 percent of the girls reported fainting.

Younger girls were more likely to have received other vaccines such as tetanus, meningitis and hepatitis A at the same time they received the HPV vaccine, and they were also more likely to report side effects. For example, 84 percent of girls aged 11-12 reported pain with the injection vs. 74 percent of women aged 18-26. Nineteen percent of girls aged 11-12 reported feeling dizzy after receiving the vaccine, but fewer than half that many (8 percent) of women aged 18-26 reported dizziness.

“These side effects are non-serious and very manageable,” said Mike Wilmington, MD, a Kaiser Permanente pediatrician in Vancouver, Wash., who was not involved in the study. “The main complaint I hear about is pain with the injection, but there are ways to lessen the pain. Some girls will feel dizzy after this and other vaccines, so I follow CDC guidelines and have them sit or lie down for a few minutes after receiving the vaccine.”

Eighty-four percent of girls and young women said they knew that the HPV virus can cause cervical cancer, but only half reported knowing that it can also cause genital warts and abnormal pap smears. Most respondents said their providers told them they needed three doses of the vaccine, and most also said their providers talked with them about the vaccine’s benefits, possible side effects, and about HPV infection. Most girls, however, said their providers did not discuss genital warts or abnormal pap smears, and only one-fifth of girls said their provider asked them to sit and rest after receiving the vaccination.

Study authors include Allison Naleway, PhD, Rachel Gold, PhD, MPH, Lois Drew, Karen Riedlinger, MPH and Michelle Henninger, PhD — all from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and Julianne Gee, MPH, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

This study is part of Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing research to understand the safety and efficacy of Gardasil. A study of 189,629 girls, teenage girls and young women, published earlier this year in the Journal of Internal Medicine, found that Gardasil does not trigger autoimmune conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes or multiple sclerosis after vaccination in young women.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

April, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

CDC to launch new, graphic anti-smoking campaign

One of the ads by the Centers for Disease Control shows Shawn Wright who had a tracheotomy after being diagnosed with head and neck cancer.

ATLANTA — Tobacco taxes and smoking bans haven’t budged the U.S. smoking rate in years. Now the government is trying to shock smokers into quitting with a graphic nationwide advertising campaign.

The billboards and print, radio and TV ads show people whose smoking resulted in heart surgery, a tracheotomy, lost limbs or paralysis. The $54 million campaign is the largest and starkest anti-smoking push by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its first national advertising effort.

The agency is hoping the spots, which begin Monday, will persuade as many as 50,000 Americans to stop smoking.

“This is incredibly important. It’s not every day we release something that will save thousands of lives,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a telephone interview.

That bold prediction is based on earlier research that found aggressive anti-smoking campaigns using hard-hitting images sometimes led to decreases in smoking. After decades of decline, the U.S. smoking rate has stalled at about 20 percent in recent years.

Advocates say it’s important to jolt a weary public that has been listening to government warnings about the dangers of smoking for nearly 50 years.

“There is an urgent need for this media campaign,” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement.

The CDC was set to announce the three-month campaign on Thursday.

One of the print ads features Shawn Wright from Washington state who had a tracheotomy after being diagnosed with head and neck cancer four years ago. The ad shows the 50-year-old shaving, his razor moving down toward a red gaping hole at the base of his neck that he uses to speak and breathe.

An advertising firm, Arnold Worldwide, found Wright and about a dozen others who developed cancer or other health problems after smoking for the ads.

Federal health agencies have gradually embraced graphic anti-smoking imagery. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved nine images to be displayed on cigarette packages. Among them were a man exhaling cigarette smoke through a tracheotomy hole in his throat, and a diseased mouth with what appear to be cancerous lesions.

Last month, a federal judge blocked the requirement that tobacco companies put the images on their packages, saying it was unconstitutional.

Graphic ads are meant to create an image so striking that smokers and would-be smokers will think of it whenever they have an urge to buy a pack of cigarettes, said Glenn Leshner, a University of Missouri researcher who has studied the effectiveness of anti-smoking ads.

Leshner and his colleagues found that some ads are so disturbing that people reacted by turning away from the message rather than listening. So while spots can shock viewers into paying attention, they also have to encourage people that quitting is possible, he said.

The CDC campaign includes information on a national quit line and offers advice on how to kick the habit, CDC officials said.

CDC unveils graphic anti-smoking ads. Click here to view the video: http://cnn.com/video/?/video/health/2012/03/15/early-cdc-anti-smoking-ads.cnn

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

March, 2012|Oral Cancer News|