Cervical vaccine also protects against anal cancer risk

A vaccine routinely used to shield against cervical cancer caused by the human papillomavirus also reduces women's risk of anal cancer, a study published by the journal The Lancet Oncology on Tuesday says.

The trial involved 4,210 healthy women aged 18-25 in Costa Rica, who were randomly assigned the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Cervarix or an ordinary hepatitis A vaccine as a comparison.

Four years later, the women were tested for cervical and anal infections by the 16 and 18 types of HPV, which are notoriously associated with cancer.

Women who received Cervarix had a 76-percent lower risk of cervical infection and a 62-percent lower risk of anal infection compared with un-inoculated counterparts.

The protection was even higher in a sub-group of women who most probably had no previous exposure to HPV. In this category, the vaccine was nearly 89-percent protective against cervical infection by the two viral strains and nearly 84 percent against anal infections.

Even though anal cancer is rare - just two cases per 100,000 people per year in the overall population, according to some estimates - women generally have twice the incidence of this disease than men.

Why this is so is unclear, although receptive anal intercourse may be a factor.

A condition called cervical neoplasia may also predispose women to the risk of anal HPV infection, regardless of anal intercourse.

Within the general population, higher-risk groups for anal cancer are men who have sex with men. HIV-negative gays have 40 cases per 100,000 individuals per year, and HIV-infected gays 80 per 100,000.

HPV causes most anal cancers, previous research has found. Nearly four out of every five HPV-linked anal cases are caused by types 16 or 18.

In a commentary also carried by The Lancet Oncology, US specialists Diane Harper and Stephen Vierthaler of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, said the cost benefits of HPV vaccination for anal cancer were hazy.

The big question was how long the vaccine remained effective, they said.

"Without duration of efficacy of at least 15 years, cancers will not be prevented for women or men who have sex with men, only postponed," the pair noted.

"Efficacy trials are lacking and anal cancer incidence is rare. Let's use our resources wisely."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Engineer with SQL skills

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Opilio Recruitment: Product Owner

    £40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...

    Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Support Administrator - Part Time

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas