Men at equal risk of cervical cancer: Study
01 January, 2014
ISLAMABAD: And you thought vaccination against cervical cancer is what only women need to deliberate upon? Wrong.
Debunking earlier researches, a new study has found that women are more than twice as likely as men to pass on the human papilloma virus (HPV) - the primary cause for the development of cervical cancer.
Researchers found that 18 percent of women infected with HPV transmitted the virus to their male partners within a year, compared with the 7 percent of infected men who passed on the virus to their female partners.
"While we've thought about vaccination in women for a long time, vaccination in men is also important," Alan Nyitray, assistant professor at University of Texas' School of Public Health, was quoted as saying.
"Vaccination in both sexes is a good idea," he added.
For most, said the study published in Journal of Infectious Diseases, the virus has no symptoms and eventually goes away, leaving no health problems. For others, the virus can cause anal or genital warts, and for some it can lead to cervical, anal, penile or throat cancer.
The study examined over 4,000 men infected with HPV from the US, Mexico and Brazil over nearly 10 years.
In the secondary study, Nyitray examined 99 of those men and their female partners between ages 18 and 70 over two years.
The team then analysed a subset of 65 of those couples, in which one type of the virus was present in one partner and not the other - to learn how often partners transmitted HPV types to each other, the study added.
"Ultimately, it was clear that there was a higher rate of transmission from females to males, than males to females," said the researchers.
Researchers now believe that the study debunks any misconception that men are the primary carriers of the virus.