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Posts tagged “HPV”

Dental charity welcomes plans to expand HPV vaccine programme to protect boys

The Oral Health Foundation has welcomed plans to expand the HPV vaccine programme to protect boys, as well as girls.

Currently, 12 and 13-year-old girls are offered the immunisation as part of a scheme to reduce the risk of cervical cancer. Now, Public Health England has confirmed that the programme will be rolled out to include teenage boys in a bid to lower the number of cancer cases linked to the virus.

HPV (human papilloma virus) is a very common virus, which usually doesn’t cause any problems. However, there are certain strains that increase the risk of some types of cancer.

The vaccination has been incredibly effective in lowering the risk of cervical cancer, and campaigners believed that boys should be vaccinated to protect them against other forms of cancer. Oral cancer, for example, is linked to HPV exposure, and the number of cases in the UK has more than doubled in the last 10-15 years.

HPV vaccination started in 2008 and Public Health England has confirmed that boys in year 8 will be offered the injection from September 2019. It is estimated that around 5% of cancer cases are linked to the HPV, and in the UK, experts believe that extending the vaccination programme could prevent up to 2,000 cases in men each year.

Types of cancer that may be associated with HPV in men include cancer of the penis and anus and head and neck cancer.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, welcomed the news and urged all parents of boys and girls who are eligible for the vaccine to take advantage of the opportunity to have the injection. The programme has already enjoyed incredible results among girls and young women, and expanding the scheme could save many more lives.

75% of UK adults are unware of the symptoms of mouth cancer, despite a 135% increase in the number of cases

A new study has suggested that three-quarters of UK adults are unaware of the symptoms of mouth cancer, despite the fact that there has been a 135% increase in the number of cases in the last two decades.

Figures published by the Oral Health Foundation show that 75% of people do not know what the symptoms and warning signs of mouth cancer are, in spite of the fact that oral cancer kills more people in the UK than cervical and testicular cancer combined. Last year, more than 8,300 new cases were diagnosed. This represents a 135% increase since 1998. More than 80% of people surveyed were also unaware of the parts of the mouth that were affected by oral cancer.

The Oral Health Foundation has released new studies to coincide with the charity’s annual Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign. The foundation’s chief executive, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said that it is hugely important that people are aware of the symptoms so that they can seek advice as early as possible. Sadly, as awareness is so low, the majority of cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when there’s a high risk that cancerous cells have already spread.

The campaign is hoping to make people more aware of mouth cancer and encourage them to look out for potential warning signs. The most common risk factors for mouth cancer include drinking and smoking, exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV) and a poor diet. Symptoms may include swelling and abnormal lumps, slow-healing mouth sores and ulcers, unexplained oral pain and bleeding, and red or white patches in the mouth.

As part of Mouth Cancer Action Month, practices all over the country will be hosting free screening and encouraging patients who haven’t had a check-up in a while to get in touch.

Reports suggest HPV vaccine will be made available to boys and girls

Reports suggest that the government is set to roll out the HPV vaccine programme to include boys, as well as girls. According to the Daily Mail, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has backed calls from dental organisations to enable boys to benefit from the scheme. The HPV vaccination is currently given to teenage girls to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.

Following a meeting to discuss the future of the programme, it is understood that the committee has advised health ministers to approve the expansion of the scheme, and health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is set to sign off on the guidelines in the near future. The move comes after leading dental bodies appealed for the committee to reconsider expanding the scheme after it concluded that offering immunisation to boys would not be cost-effective.

A group of dental organisations, including the British Dental Association, called for the committee to consider the widespread health benefits of protecting both boys and girls against forms of cancer that are linked to HPV (human papillomavirus). More than 20 different types of cancer are known to be associated with HPV, including oral cancer, which has become more prevalent in the UK in the last decade.

News of the initial reports has been welcomed by HPV Action, a charity, which has campaigned vigorously for the vaccination to be made available to boys. Peter Baker, director of the campaign, said that although the move is “long overdue,” it’s very welcome.

The move has also been backed by the British Dental Association. Chair, Mick Armstrong, said that the news may suggest that the government is “finally willing to walk the walk on prevention.”

Why dentists are fighting for HPV vaccines for boys

shutterstock_363779750Recently, a group of high-profile dental organisations called for the government to consider rolling out the HPV vaccination programme to include teenage boys, as well as girls. The vaccine, which is currently provided for girls as they enter their teenage years to protect against cervical cancer, is the subject of debate after a committee turned down the option to expand the reach of the programme on the grounds that it wasn’t cost-effective to vaccinate boys.

The British Dental Association has joined forces with the Faculty of General Dental Practice and the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons to urge the Department of Health and Social Care to reconsider plans to introduce vaccinations for boys. HPV is known to increase the risk of more than 20 forms of cancer, including oral cancer, a type of cancer that has become much more prevalent in the UK in the last decade.

Dr Mick Armstrong, chair of the BDA, said that cancers that affect the mouth and throat have a devastating impact on quality of life, and added that dentists are frustrated by the fact that many cases of mouth cancer could be prevented. Dentists are often first to spot potential warning signs, and the BDA believes that introducing HPV vaccines for boys could see the number of cases fall in years to come. In the UK, the number of people diagnosed with oral cancer has increased by around a third in the last ten years. Dr Armstrong suggested that it was both unfair and illogical to protect half of the population and leave the other half exposed.

In light of the growing prevalence of mouth cancer, the organisations have urged the government to think about rolling out the vaccination programme to include boys and prioritise saving lives over saving money.

Could dating apps be fuelling rising rates of oral cancer?


Dentists have issued a warning over the use of dating apps amid concerns over the increased prevalence of HPV, a virus known to increase the risk of several forms of cancer, including oral cancer.

The British Dental Association, along with a number of other health bodies, has already backed a move to expand the HPV vaccine programme to include teenage boys, as well as girls, but this was rejected by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. It is estimated that up to 50 percent of the population will be affected by HPV at some point in their lives. In most cases, HPV doesn’t cause any problems, but certain strains are linked to an elevated risk of some forms of cancer. Cervical cancer is one of these, and this is why the HPV vaccination programme was introduced in British schools. Girls aged 12 and 13 are entitled to the vaccination, but the immunisation is not currently available for boys.

Dentists are worried that the ruling on HPV vaccination for boys is based on data that is no longer accurate, as behaviour has changed and factors, including the rise of dating apps like Tinder, have not been considered by those in charge of making decisions. The British Dental Association believes that information used to make decisions is outdated and there are also accusations that data has been withheld during the consultation process.

Dr Mick Armstrong, chair of the BDA, said that it is “shocking” that the vaccine will not be made available to thousands of boys who are at risk of developing certain forms of cancer, including oral cancer, as a result of HPV infection.

The relationship between oral cancer and HPV has been a subject of intrigue, especially since Hollywood actor, Michael Douglas, attributed his own experiences with throat cancer to oral sex.

Dentists back calls for HPV vaccination programme expansion

shutterstock_370574216Research conducted by HPV Action has revealed that the overwhelming majority of dentists support calls for the HPV vaccine to be made available to teenage boys, as well as girls.

According to the charity, 97 percent of dentists polled backed plans to expand the vaccination programme to include 12 and 13-year-old boys. At the moment, HPV vaccines are available to teenage girls. This is due to the link between certain strains of HPV and cervical cancer. There is now a growing body of evidence to suggest an association between the virus and oral cancer, a form of cancer, which has become increasingly common in the last decade.

Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practice, Mick Horton, said that the number of cases of oral cancer diagnosed is the UK has risen “dramatically” in the last ten years, and two-thirds of cases involve men. Introducing the HPV vaccine could help to reduce the risk of oral cancer in young males. There are also plans to launch a pilot scheme for gay men.

The vaccination programme has contributed to a reduction in the prevalence of HPV in young women, and experts are keen to trial the vaccine to determine if it could reduce the number of cases of HPV-related cancers in young males. Currently, figures suggest that over 2,000 men are diagnosed with cancers related to HPV every year and almost 50 percent of patients will die from the disease within five years.

Dentists support calls made by doctors and campaigners to expand the programme and believe that providing the vaccine for boys could help to save numerous lives in the future

Teachers call for HPV vaccination to be made available for boys

shutterstock_208190617Teachers have called for HPV vaccinations to be made available for teenage boys, as well as girls.

Speaking at the annual conference for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers in Scotland, several professionals backed calls to introduce vaccination for boys, in light of research connecting HPV to forms of cancer found in males, as well as females. HPV vaccines are currently given to teenage girls to protect them against cervical cancer; however, research also claims that certain strains of HPV increase the risk of head and neck cancer, throat cancer and cancers found in males, such as penile cancer.

Sree Varshini Rajkumar, from Berkshire, urged the government to roll out the vaccination programme, stating that more than 1,400 cases of head and neck cancer are diagnosed as a result of HPV in men every year. It is estimated that the number of cases of throat cancer diagnosed in men will exceed the number of cases of cervical cancer linked to HPV diagnosed in women over the course of the next five years. Fifty-thousand men are diagnosed with HPV each year, and many cases of cancers associated with certain strains of the virus could be eliminated if the vaccination programme was extended.

HPV has been identified as a potential risk factor for oral cancer, a form of cancer, which has become increasingly prevalent over the last decade. In the past, most cases were found in people who smoked and drank excessively; however, there has been a rise in cases among younger people and non-smokers, and HPV infection is a likely cause.

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