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Oral cancer virus ‘more common in men’

Posted by Yvonne Wallace

Men are more likely to contract an oral cancer virus than women, according to the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Around 5,500 people aged 14 to 69 were assessed for the research, which found ten per cent of males had the oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, compared with 3.6 per cent of females.

A team led by Dr Maura Gillison stated the study could lead to further research on existing HPV vaccines, as the condition often causes head and neck cancers.

“Vaccine efficacy against oral HPV infection is unknown and therefore vaccination cannot currently be recommended for the primary prevention of oropharyngeal cancer,” they wrote.

Jessica Harris, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, added there is no evidence to show whether HPV vaccination is effective at preventing oral HPV infections at the moment.

Stephan Feller, principal investigator of Head and Neck Cancer Research Group at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, recently noted there is concern in the industry about links between HPV and mouth cancer.

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