Happy Cervical Health Awareness Month! Wait. What? January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. As an M.D. specializing in HPV, how can I not spend some time honoring such an important health topic.
HPV, the virus underlying genital warts and anal cancer in men, is one of the most commonly treated areas in my office. Even though much of the HPV talk in the news is concerned around women and cervical cancer, there are many concerns that affect men.
Are you gay? Or bisexual? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, you are 17 times more likely to develop HPV-related anal cancer than heterosexual men. Why? Well, anal cancer is one hint. Also, “men with weakened immune systems, including those who have HIV, are more likely than other men to develop anal cancer. Men with HIV are also more likely to get severe cases of genital warts that are harder to treat.”
In a study from 2011, it was found that more than 50% of men over the age of 15 have been infected with HPV. The study also stated that “each year roughly 6% of men will contract a new infection of the strain that is most associated with cervical cancer in women — HPV 16.”
It’s important to know that although the overall rates of cancers are declining, the National Cancer Institute states that HPV cancers are on the rise.
PLEASE come see me if you have any questions or concerns about HPV, or if you notice anything abnormal about your body. You can ask me anything.
I’ve saved many lives and will continue to spread the word to educate my patients, friends, family and the internet. Don’t be afraid.
I got you!
— Dr. Dale