Article Text

PDF
Anal cancer in women: are we appropriately identifying the risks?
  1. Danielle Solomon1,
  2. Margaret Stanley2,
  3. Angela J Robinson1
  1. 1 Department of GU/HIV Medicine, Mortimer Market Centre, London, UK
  2. 2 Division of Cellular and Molecular Pathology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Danielle Solomon, Department of GU/HIV Medicine, Mortimer Market Centre, Capper Street, Bloomsbury, London, UK; danielle.solomon{at}nhs.net

Statistics from Altmetric.com

This summer, the much-discussed human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine entered a new phase of utilisation across the UK. In response to a report by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation,1 Public Health England has initiated a pilot in which 42 genitourinary medicine and HIV clinics will provide the Gardasil vaccine to men who have sex with men (MSM). This pilot is supported by the evidence: MSM have a higher incidence of HPV than heterosexual men2 and the virus is linked to around 85% of anal cancers.3 Among the general population, however, it is also important to remember the burden of anal cancer among women. Not only is there a higher incidence of anal cancer among women than among men in the UK (2.6 per 100 000 compared with 1.3 per 100 000), the last 10 years have also seen a higher rate of increase within the female population (a 46% increase, compared with almost no increase in men).4 With these figures in mind, eliminating women from the discussion around anal cancer prevention seems somewhat short sighted. Although efforts towards vaccinating teenage girls against HPV are likely to have a significant effect on future prevalence of anal cancer, there remains a subgroup of unvaccinated women who are currently at risk. This discussion becomes even more vital when looking at anal cancer on a global scale. It has long been known that women who are living with HIV are more susceptible to HPV-related …

View Full Text

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.