HPV Key Facts
HPV & Cancer
HPV & Throat Cancer
HPV & Cervical Cancer
HPV & Other Cancers
HPV & Relationships
HPV-related penile cancers most often affect the ‘head’ of the penis and are rare. It is reported that penile cancer is about 10 times less common than cervical cancer. Penile cancer is generally diagnosed in men over the age of 30 years, and most commonly among those over 70 years.
Risk factors for HPV-related penile cancer include smoking, not being circumcised, having a previous diagnosis of genital warts, having a previous diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and the number of sexual partners.
Although a relatively uncommon cancer, the incidence of HPV-associated anal cancers are increasing in both women and men. In particular, gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (GBM) are most at risk. HPV-associated anal cancer is now believed to affect GBM over 20 times more than heterosexual men.
Risk factors for HPV-associated anal cancer include smoking, anogenital wart diagnosis, rectal STI diagnosis, anal intercourse, and the number of sexual partners.
Men who are taking pharmaceuticals that suppress the immune system or who are living with HIV are at particular risk from HPV infection and developing HPV-associated cancer. A compromised immune system is less able to detect and fight the HPV virus.
Of particular concern is the burden of HPV-associated anal cancer experienced by GBM living with HIV, which is thought to be 100 times greater than the general population.
There is no effective method (including cytology/smear) for screening for anal cancer.
It is recommended that all males living with HIV, and particularly GBM living with HIV, undergo regular health checks including a digital anal rectal exam to look for signs or symptoms that may indicate HPV-associated cancers. Annual digital anorectal examination (DARE) is recommended for HIV positive MSM who are aged 50 years or over.
HPV vaccination is the most effective method of prevention.
If you are concerned seek advice from your GP and/or a Specialist regarding diagnosis, treatment and management options.