Although the human papilloma virus is predominately a female health concern because it can cause cervical cancer, HPV can also cause problems for men. Not only can this virus cause genital warts and feel very uncomfortable, but it can also cause several types of cancer.
Here are some things men need to know about HPV.
Risk Factors and Spreading
The human papilloma virus is a group of more than a hundred different viruses. Although they may appear with no symptoms, a typical sign of HPV are genital warts. The virus spreads through any sort of close skin-to-skin contact, but it is most often spread through anal, vaginal, and oral sex.
There are several risk factors for HPV:
- Having more sexual partners;
- Being a young adult or an adolescent;
- Having a weakened immune system due to HIV or a similar disease.
Around 90% of HPV infections will disappear with the help of our immune response. However, some cases of HPV can cause different types of cancer:
- Anal cancer – over 90% of all cases of this cancer are caused by HPV;
- Penile cancers – this cancer affects around 400 men per year. HPV is the cause of around 60% of penile cancer cases.
- Oropharyngeal cancer – this type develops in the back of the throat. Around 70% of cases are caused by HPV.
There are currently no treatments available for HPV. Genital warts caused by this condition are treated either with prescription medication or surgical procedures. If the HPV virus progresses into cancer, it’s treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
So, there you go – the most important things men need to know about HPV. Check yourself regularly (especially if you have multiple partners) and contact your doctor if you notice any unusual growths around your genitalia.