HPV, Men and Cancer

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 27, 2010 10:59 PM GMT
    Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has certain strains that put the population at risk for genital cancers and warts. Now for the most part, it's commonly associated with cervical cancer and is more likely in women who have had multiple sexual partners because, while women may manifest the symptoms, its men who serve as carriers for the virus and end up transmitting them. That being said, I've realized that a good anount of people don't know that the same HPV virus ALSO causes cancer of the anus and warts in the area that can be contagious.

    Now in the heterosexual population (for the most part), that isn't much of an issue because of the relatively low incidence of anal sex. On the other hand, the risk of exposure is infinitely greater in the homosexual/bisexual population because the preferred method of intercourse for most is anal sex and, although most use protection (i hope), there's still risk exposure to the virus.

    There is a vaccination against some of the more cancerous strains of HPV out there which is known as Gardasil. The drug company mostly advertises it as a prophylactic measure for women to prevent cervical cancer but my suggestion is that men should also be talking to their doctor about the vaccine and consider getting it as a measure of protection for themselves and their partner (s).

    So long story short, consider getting vaccinated against HPV...if you're a bottom, then protect yourself and if you're a top, then..well...do it as a service to the general population and your partner. Talk it over with your physician and see what they say about it.

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  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    May 28, 2010 2:08 AM GMT
    I actually would, but it's quite pricey and last i checked insurance won't cover it
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    May 28, 2010 2:29 AM GMT
    This is a hell of a good advice, thanks DrNY, and also I'd like to add that you guys still can have this virus and you won't realize that you have it because it is most of the time "asymptomatic" until some kind of a "lesion" appears (like a wart). So, please this is why it's important to take good care of YOU and your partner(s) (even if he or she is just a "one night stand") because you could be passing it to him/her without notice. I have read that also taking vitamin A supplements or the ones that have got "beta carotene" as a main content can help to control HPV. And, the vaccine it is not the cure, just a prophylaxis treatment, once you get the HPV you're going to have it with you for ever.
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    May 28, 2010 2:47 AM GMT
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/719384
    http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm187003.htm (This says FDA has approved it for warts...i thought it was still experimental)

    http://www.gardasil.com/what-is-gardasil/information-on-gardasil/

    So i guess for warts its recommended but the cancer benefits is still up in the air.


    Again....talk to your doctor about it...i'm not telling anyone to get it...just consider it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 2:50 AM GMT
    Gardasil IS indicated for men and boys as of Oct 2009.

    Here is the link

    http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm187003

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 2:50 AM GMT
    Okay a lot of your info sounds very misconstrued and doesn't tell the whole truth.

    One : there is no "protecting" against HPV. you can get it just by rubbing skin to skin - and not even specifically genital to genital. Condoms DO NOT HELP.

    HPV does NOT mean cancer. VERY FEW strains of HPV cause cancer and this is rare. It is also generally agreed that HPV strains that cause warts are non-cancerous.


    It's HARDLY true that this is 'not much of an issue' for the hetero population. Sexual orientation means NOTHING for HPV. You can get HPV on ANY genital area - penile, vaginal, anal, etc. It does not matter.

    the "vaccine" is NOT a sure thing. not for men NOR women AND it's currently unknown how Gardisil will affect men.

    It does not matter if you are a top or a bottom - your risks are equally high of getting HPV from another person (intercourse isn't even necessary to transmit HPV)

    Who says women don't transmit the virus? That's completely untrue - men can get the virus from women and vice-versa equally likely.

    You're info is close, but not true. In fact even MY information is not entirely fact. There are NO 100% facts on HPV yet and there are definitely NO cures. the only preventative measure we know of is to not be physically intimate with other people - and that's ridiculous.

    What you failed to mention is that a majority of sexually active people out there already have HPV and don't - or won't ever - know it. So FEW strains cause symptoms and even fewer cause cancer. it's said about 80% of the sexually active multi-partner populace - MEN AND WOMEN - have or will have HPV at some point in their lives and the majority will never even know (or develop symptoms)

    HPV can be fought off by the body's own immune system and it generally will not remain in the system (unless there is re-infection) for more than 2 years.

    I'd be interested to hear where you got your info from.

    EDIT :: Ooh if they've OK'd gardisil for men, that's news to me. still - same situation as above for women - it's not a sure-thing.
  • SwimmingDoc

    Posts: 115

    May 28, 2010 2:53 AM GMT
    DrNY saidhttp://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/719384
    http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm187003.htm (This says FDA has approved it for warts...i thought it was still experimental)

    http://www.gardasil.com/what-is-gardasil/information-on-gardasil/


    Again....talk to your doctor about it...i'm not telling anyone to get it...just consider it.


    I stand corrected!!! At the last lecture that I had this was still in phase II research for male use; and was most likely not to be approved. I am in ER rotations so I don't spend much time doing infectious. So with the links correcting me then I would suggest as well that everyone talk with your provider. And I will most def look into this. Thanks for the link...
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    May 28, 2010 2:55 AM GMT
    "Gardasil was nearly 90 percent effective in preventing genital warts caused by infection with HPV types 6 and 11."

    from http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm187003.htm

    -that's interesting.. it says it prevents warts. it does not prevent the transmission of the virus...
  • SwimmingDoc

    Posts: 115

    May 28, 2010 2:58 AM GMT
    Cobalt said"Gardasil was nearly 90 percent effective in preventing genital warts caused by infection with HPV types 6 and 11."

    from http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm187003.htm

    -that's interesting.. it says it prevents warts. it does not prevent the transmission of the virus...


    Correct just like the vaccine for messels you are vaccined against it, but if you come in contact with it you can pass it without showing symptoms.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 3:04 AM GMT
    I never said its a sure thing....FDA approved it for men ages 16-26 for genital warts...but if you've already been exposed then you've been exposed. But if you haven't then its a good precaution...its not a cure, its a precaution....its been shown to prevent it in those that haven't been exposed.

    As i'm saying....TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR AND CONSIDER IT!!!!
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    May 28, 2010 3:10 AM GMT
    Swimmerboy said
    DrNY saidhttp://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/719384
    http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm187003.htm (This says FDA has approved it for warts...i thought it was still experimental)

    http://www.gardasil.com/what-is-gardasil/information-on-gardasil/


    Again....talk to your doctor about it...i'm not telling anyone to get it...just consider it.


    I stand corrected!!! At the last lecture that I had this was still in phase II research for male use; and was most likely not to be approved. I am in ER rotations so I don't spend much time doing infectious. So with the links correcting me then I would suggest as well that everyone talk with your provider. And I will most def look into this. Thanks for the link...


    Yeah....my interest in it got piqued when i came across it on a Qbank (I'm studying for my Step 2CK)...It asked for indications and I chose the option that said "it hasn't been shown to be effective in men" and i got it wrong...the explaination mentioned that its been approved for young men so I figured i'd pass the info along and look it up myself.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 3:11 AM GMT
    I had it done 3 years ago before it was approved for men. A lot of guys seemed to think they couldn't get it, but when I asked my GP, he said that it wasn't prohibited either. It cost me about $350 all together and the shots are staggered over 6 months similar to the way hep B vaccinations are.

    I have a friend that suffered immensely from the course of radiation used to treat his anal cancer. Gardasil doesn't buy me 100% peace of mind, but I don't think it hurts either.
  • xysx

    Posts: 306

    May 28, 2010 3:18 AM GMT
    Thank you, DR NY, for your post. The vacccination for HPV IS covered for use with males. It is a 3 shot course. 1st shot, followed by 2nd shot greater than 2 weeks later, then 3rd shot at 6 mos. It is available thru HCPs who treat adults, as well as through pediatricians. My son's pediatrician wasn't aware it was covered either, until I educated him, so you may need to educate your OWN physician (remember back in the day when that was commonplace, guys?) Or, you may have to educate your insurance carrier, as well, as they may not be going off of the most current coverage info. And sorry, but Yes, there has been a direct coorelation between HPV and rectal/anal cancers in men. full disclosure; I was part of the study back in the 80's for many years.
  • Abc123456

    Posts: 336

    May 28, 2010 3:28 AM GMT
    Oh boy, here we go on the Gardasil debate...Wiki "genital warts" and get educated on what HPV is to begin with. A few good friends of mine have gotten either genital warts or cervical cancer (girl friends - not ex girlfriends) which was...extremely traumatic for for them. It is SO common, people just don't talk about it... 4 out of 5 people will have a genital HPV infection in their lifetime.

    I finished the third shot of the vaccine about a year and a half ago. After seeing what my friends with through I talked to my doc and asked for the vaccine even though it wasn't approved for men yet (in Canada).

    The study shown above tracked men, who don't have a cervix obviously, so the cancer trials appear to have been left out. It is still resistant to strains 6, 11, 16, and 18 regardless of your gender. 6 and 11 are responsible for 90% of genital wart infections. 16 and 18 are responsible for 70% (if i remember correctly) of cervical cancers. NOW, why this is important to you (other than dodging 90% of wart infections) as a gay man:

    From wikipedia, cited from medical studies (from the "risk" section on Anal Cancer)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anal_cancer:
    -Human papillomavirus examination of squamous cell carcinoma tumor tissues from patients in Denmark and Sweden showed a high proportion of anal cancers to be positive for the types of HPV that are also associated with high risk of cervical cancer (90% of the tumors from women, 100% of the tumors from homosexual men, and 58% of tumors from heterosexual men).[3] In another study done, high-risk types of HPV, notably HPV-16, were detected in 84 percent of anal cancer specimens examined.[4]

    -Sexual activity: Having multiple sex partners due to the increased risk of exposure to the HPV virus.[5][6] Receptive anal intercourse, whether male or female, increases the chances of anal cancer sevenfold.[6] Homosexual and bisexual men are 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than heterosexual men.[7]

    A vaccination gives your body immunity to a virus. Which means your body fights it off, and the virus does not establish itself within your system. The logic is simple, you get the vaccine, you don't get hpv 6, 11, 16, or 18 or the fallout from what the virus causes (cancer or warts). There is also a study that shows that it can prevent against an additional 10 strains of HPV http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/83186.php. I don't know how accurate this site is, nor do I care, at this point I got the vaccination for what it was tested and proven to do.

    And anyone who's going to go off about vaccines causing other issues (like autism), the doctor who presented THAT study, recently had his medical licence revoked, and also retracted those studies. Do or do not get the vaccine for personal reason, but don't be stupid and think that vaccinations are anything but intended for your benefit and long-term health.
  • NursePractiti...

    Posts: 232

    May 28, 2010 9:32 AM GMT
    My physician will test for HPV on males but he admits he is hearing from his patients that most in the Tampa Florida area will not. I have also been hearing this from some of my friends who want to get tested for it. If possible, get tested and get educated on HPV.
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    May 28, 2010 10:04 AM GMT
    Getting vaccinated could be good advice, though the vaccine has its share of critics. Unfortunately, it's hard to know how safe or effective a vaccine is, when it's being promoted for profit.

    HPV used to be considered a lifelong virus. Nowadays, most cases of HPV in healthy individuals are said to clear up on their own.

    http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/hpv-genital-warts/hpv-treatment-is-there-hpv-cure
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    Dec 07, 2010 11:36 PM GMT
    I asked many question to my dr. about the Gardasil and HPV thing. She told me since near 80% of the population end up by catching it...get rid of it...and then catching it again, there is nothing i can dore more than play safe...and see what happens. I was freaked out about the cancer thing...I had a leukemia for about 3 years, a hell of a ride, so anything I can do to delay another one I`ll do it.

    She told me not to freak out for anal cancer or such things like that. HPV can go by itself, and usually takes many years to evolves in severe dyspasia...and then more years to shift into a cancer. She also told me that people with their natural immunity down (chemotherapy, organ transplants, HIV), its easier for the HPV to evolves and get worse more and more as the depressed immunity last. Seem that anal cancer or HPV linked diseases are doing trouble to HIV+ more than HIV-, not much little trouble, but a gigantic amount of trouble.

    So please boys...get checked.