Prostate Cancer and HPV
In this article, I’m going to attempt to answer a question. Is there a link between prostate cancer and HPV? Many of you may have heard about the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and a possible connection to various cancers. To begin, what is HPV?
What is HPV?
According to the CDC, HPV is a fairly common virus. This is going to sound cold but, the CDC website actually says, “HPV infections are so common that nearly all men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.”1 HPV is also known as genital warts. The CDC goes on to say that HPV is mainly spread through skin-to-skin contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex with an individual who has the virus.1
Right here, I’d like to cut to the chase. On the same page as these quotes, it also says this: “Every year in the United States, HPV is estimated to cause nearly 35,000 cases of cancer in men and women.”1 So, what does the research say about HIV and prostate cancer?
The link between HPV and cancer
I looked at a couple of research studies which questioned a connection between prostate cancer and HPV. To put it mildly, these studies came up with the same conclusions. The research published in 2018 said, “These results suggest that HPV infection plays an important role in prostate cancer development.” In this research, they looked at the prostate cancer tissue from 356 men and found a percentage of the men with prostate cancer also had HPV.2
The other article published in 2017 says, “The meta-analysis suggested that HPV infection is associated with increased risk of PCa, which indicated a potential pathogenetic link between HPV and PCa.” In this article, the researchers looked at the results from 24 published studies and analyzed their conclusions. In a nutshell, these studies concluded there is a link between prostate cancer and having HPV.3
Is the HPV vaccination helpful?
In case you did not know, there is a vaccine against the more common types of HPV. The CDC recommends you get this vaccine when you are a preteen. I’ll make the assumption for the vast majority of you, you are no longer a preteen.
Please keep in mind if you have children, you may want to get them vaccinated. I want to add this vaccine is available to both girls and boys. The CDC says you may get the vaccine when you’re older but it’s less likely to be effective because you were already exposed to HPV when you were younger.4
I have to say this too. If you are African-American, you may want to seriously consider getting your children vaccinated against HPV since, especially in males, we may have a genetic predisposition for it.5
Always talk to your doctor
In closing, it's important to say there seems to be a strong connection between HPV, sexual transmission, and cancers. There are other research studies out there that examine the connection between HPV and prostate cancer, so please feel free to do some research on your own.
With that said, I think it is very important for you to talk to your doctor about getting your children vaccinated against HPV. Just something for you to consider.
Thank you for reading.
Have you made personal connections through your journey with prostate cancer?