HPV Tests for Men To Prevent Penile, Anal and Throat Cancer

How common are HPV related cancers in Men?

STDcheckIn the U.S alone, there are
• 400 men who get HPV-related cancer of the penis
• 1,500 men who get HPV-related cancer of the anus
• 5,600 men who get cancers of the oropharynx (back of the throat), related to tobacco and alcohol. The risks of developing throat cancer, as a direct consequence of HPV, has not been researched extensively.

What are the testing methods for HPV in Men?

Due to the unconfirmed correlation between cancer in men and HPV, there is no recommended HPV test for men. The currently available tests on the market only target women due to the high rate of HPV related cervical cancer in women. These tests are not suitable for men to detect HPV-related cancer or genital warts.

The CDC doesn’t recommend screening of HPV for anal cancer due to the limited studies conducted on its efficacy in preventing anal cancer in men. For sexually active men, there are certain tests that can be done to screen for penile and anal cancer.

• Annual anal cancer screening (Anal Pap Tests):

Cytological analysis of cells obtained from an anal smear sample.

Specificity: Low
Sensitivity: High

• HPV DNA Testing:

Detecting HPV DNA in the anogenital anatomical site using PCR and HC techniques.

Specificity: High
Sensitivity: High

• Penile HPV Screening:

Due to the high rates of HPV prevalence in the male penis, the presence of HPV detection may not be specific for penile cancer in men.

• Specificity: Low
• Sensitivity: Low

Conclusion:

Despite clear data correlating HPV with anal and penile cancer in men, there are no recommended screening techniques for HPV in men. Therefore, routine anal pap smear should be recommended and other more accurate diagnostic tools should be evaluated for HPV screening in men.

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