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HPV Anal Cancer Statistics

Aug 15, 2004

There are a series of statistics that are reported over and over again regarding the incidence of colon-rectal cancer among men: 0.9 out of 100,000 for all men; 35 out of 100,000 for MSM non-HIV, and 70 out of 100,000 for MSM with HIV. The comments in the Gay community border on hysteria in some instances when HPV infection is added to the discussion. I have followed the reported statistics for the past four years and have not seen what I would call an epidemic having lived through the initial AIDS impact of 1978 to 1990 in New York City. Aside from the recommendations of the various medical and public health organizations, what do we know specifically about the individuals that make up the increase from 0.9 to 35 and those that make up the increase from 35 to 70? Granted, these are statistics, but statistics are based on observed occurrences that can be described in more detail. Extensive searches of the CDC, SEER and others have not provided any more detail. What do you know about these occurrences?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I know about as much as what you quoted. Part of the problem is that rectal pap smears for detection of HPV associated anal carcinoma are still not routinely performed in MSM. Thus, we don't have good numbers, only insight from smaller studies. We also need to distinguish this from colon carcinoma in the general population, which has a multifactorial etiology and is not thought to be associated with HPV.

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