More than 1 in 5 adults has cancer-causing HPV, CDC reports

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A report that focused on the two-year period 2013-2014 showed that 23 percent of American adults (citizens between 19 and 59 years old) suffer from a certain type of genital HPV or human papillomavirus.

About 4 percent of all adults had an oral infection with a cancer-causing strain of HPV. This virus responsible for particular types of genital cancer, causing infected people to be in a high-risk state.

'We tend to overlook the fact that 20 percent of us are carrying the virus that can cause cancer, ' lead author Geraldine McQuillan, a senior infectious disease epidemiologist at the CDC, told The Washington Post.

"It's absolutely vital that all eligible young people receive the full course of the vaccine - taking preventive action against HPV is vital and could save a young person's life in years to come".

"More than 80 percent of Americans will be infected with HPV in their lifetime, but in most cases, it never causes symptoms or illness - and certainly not cancer in most people", Einstein explains.

Almost half of American men and women under 60 are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV), putting them at risk for certain cancers, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The CDC recommends that "all kids who are 11 or 12 years old should get two shots of HPV vaccine six to twelve months apart".

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'People really need to realize that this is a serious concern'.

In both groups, prevalence was higher in men than in women, and it was sharply higher among blacks compared to other racial and ethnic groups.

According to CDC's registers, more than 30,000 men and women are diagnosed with cancer every year caused by HPV. The agency has stated that even when the vaccination rates are augmenting, the rates among boys and girls are not as high as expected. "The way [the vaccine] was introduced in Australia and the United Kingdom was as a cancer vaccine, which is truly what it is".

There were 388 new cases of cervical cancer in Scotland in 2014 and the disease is the 13th most common among women in the UK.

Lingering misconceptions and fears are among the reasons for the lower HPV vaccine uptake, said Electra Paskett, a cancer control researcher at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said immunising against HPV was crucial to help prevent a range of cancers, including cervical cancer. "Deep kissing (i.e., French kissing), rimming (i.e., oral-anal contact), autoinoculation, and peripartum exposure have also been associated with prevalent oral HPV infection, albeit inconsistently".

It's unknown why HPV infections are more common in men than in women, but some studies suggest that men's immune systems don't respond as strongly to fight off HPV infections as women's systems do.

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