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Genital warts are associated with increased ano-genital, head, neck and skin cancer risk
With increased public awareness of the human papilloma virus (HPV), patients diagnosed with genital warts (GW) are more frequently asking the question: “Doctor, am I going to get cancer?” While we explain to patients that the sub-type causing GW is not the same as that which is associated with malignancy, there is amassing evidence that many patients with GW may also harbour high-risk sub-types and thus there is an increasing association between GW and cancer.
A group of Danish epidemiologists have calculated the standardised incidence rations (SIR) for a number of cancers.1 Cases of GW were identified from the Danish National Patient Register and were directly linked to the Danish Cancer Registry by way of the unique identification number assigned by the Danish Civil Registrar System.
Cases were those diagnosed with GW between 1 January 1978 and 31 December 2008 and were followed-up from 1 month following diagnosis until death, emigration or 31 December 2009. Cases who were diagnosed with cancer prior to or within 1 month of the GW diagnosis were excluded. The overall study population comprised 16 155 men and 32 933 women with a mean follow-up time of 12 years and 13 years respectively. Where an individual case had more than one GW episode, the case was only included once from the time of the first episode.
Overall, 2363 …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.