In the 30th edition of Canadian Cancer Statistics, The Canadian Cancer Society called for the expansion of free HPV (Human papilloma virus) vaccinations for males. they found that about 1/3 of all the cancers in Canada are mouth and throat cancers induced by HPV, while another 1/3 is cervical cancers. In their data, they found that while cervical cancers have remained relatively stable (after dramatically dropping after the introduction of cervical cancer screening), the rate of HPV—induced mouth and throat cancers were on the rise.
They have attributed this, in part, to the fact that while there is cervical cancer screenings that can detect precancerous cells, there is no analogous screening for oropharyngeal cancers. They found that there is also a free school-based HPV vaccination program for girls in all provinces, not many have expanded the program to include boys.
HPV has more than 100 different types of related viruses, and about 12 of those types were considered carcinogenic, as well as another 12 considered probably carcinogenic. HPV was found to be associated with about 80-90% of anal cancers, 40% of vaginal and vulval cancers and 40-50% of penile cancers. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends expanding availability and coverage of vaccination and promoting the link between HPV and non-cervical cancers in both males and females. They also want to establish a collection and reporting of vaccination rates and HPV prevalence in Canada.
- Gianna Nino-Tapias (’18)