The article relates to baby boomers, who were more likely to have engaged in oral sex with many partners in particular. One more reason perhaps to see if the vaccine can be more affordable for practices to provide for patients. Patients affected thus far were those born in the 1950s and after. The virus, while dangerous, also represents a sort of Achilles' heel that is a rare find in cancer research. This cancer is not as complicated per researcher comments as there is only one factor present. The vaccine should work on men as well as women if Merck can get approval from the FDA or use with males. BD
With 6,000 cases per year and an annual increase of up to 10 percent in men younger than 60, some researchers say the HPV-linked throat cancers could overtake cervical cancer in the next decade.
"It's almost a new disease, in a sense," said Dr. Ezra Cohen, an oncologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center. "It's now becoming a dominant sub-type of the disease that we see in our clinic."
The HPV infections likely took root decades ago as the Baby Boomers were reaching adulthood, and only now are spurring a rise in throat cancer cases, mostly among men and women in their 50s.
No one understands the precise reason for the increase, though experts suspect it's linked to changes in sexual practices that emerged in the 1960s and '70s. For example, oral sex is a known risk factor for HPV-related throat cancers, and studies have shown that people who have come of age since the 1950s are more likely to have engaged in oral sex than those who were born earlier.