HPV cancers a mystery in men

Culturally speaking, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is a girl thing. Women get pap smears, looking for signs of HPV-related cervical cancer, as part of their regular health maintenance. When an HPV vaccine was developed, it was originally targeted at women, and women alone. But, from a biological perspective, HPV doesn’t much care about what you… READ THE REST

“which, for obvious reasons, really only affects women”

Hmm, some women don’t have cervices. I’m sure that wording will create some unhappy mutants in the audience.

I thought the conventional wisdom was that males hogged medical research.

It always seemed a bit of a stretch to me that HPV wouldn’t have similar effects in the male and female population - we’re not all that different. And even if it didn’t, I never could figure out why we don’t just immunize everyone, given the obvious benefits of crowd immunity.


I found an interesting paper a few days ago related to the oropharyngeal cancer issue. The polyp issue is of great concern to me (a male), since I currently have both HPV and chronic nasal polyps, where onset occurred at almost the same time:

It didn’t occur to me, or even to the physicians at the clinics I visited, that there was a possible link. I actually found the reference while doing a Google search for HPV at the CDC’s website. Absolutely none of the nasal polyp pages I’ve visited over the past couple of years have ever suggested a link to HPV, which is of little benefit for other chronic nasal polyp sufferers who might not realize the connection.

Of course, I’ve set up an appointment at the clinic. I’m hoping something can be done, because these polyps have been driving me crazy for a while now. It would be lovely to sleep and smell well again.

An human orifice where a penis has been should be tested for HPV. So, for example, if Jane let Tom put his dick in her behind then Jane should have her behind tested for HPV. Same goes for Dick, if Dick let Ron put Ron’s penis in Dick’s behind then Ron should get his behind tested for HPV.

1 Like

That would make sense to me. The justification for an upper cutoff age I’ve seen is that most people have already been exposed by a certain age. That makes no sense to me because people can have vastly different numbers and types of sexual encounters.

Makes no logical sense to only vaccinate females. Then again, the general resistance to the vaccine in the US has not been rooted in logic.


I asked my doctor about it a few years ago after the recommendation for males to get the vaccine. And yup, being 35, my insurance wouldn’t cover it. It would have been 3 shots at $200 each. A couple weeks ago I saw an article saying that the Affordable Care Act would start fully covering the vaccine when it went into full affect but I don’t know if that still only covers the recommended age group.

Yes exactly. I suspect few of the infections are from women to women, just due to the mechanics of transmission (ie the friction of a thrusting penis can abrade mucous membranes leading to a much more effective viral transmission).

Remember - I said FEW of the transmissions, not NONE.

Both the article, and the comments overlook a major factor in men acquiring HPV, and that is the sudden increase in oral sex in the past 20-years. Yes, it has always had a ‘healthy following’, but in recent years, many young people have ‘sworn off sex’ due to fear of HIV/AIDS and other diseases, and ‘only had oral gratification’ (not realizing it is sex, too). As a result, I am pretty confident after seeing the increased rate of HPV in men from the study referenced, that this massive increase is predominantly a result of the latest generation using oral sex to a greater extent than past generations did. This only validates Michael Douglas’ public admission, and should be pushed to young generations more-so, that all actions have potential consequences.

I am a gay male that recently switched doctors to a more…open minded…doctor. Being HIV positive for 5+ years he immediately ran tests that my previous ID doctors had not. The first of which was an anal pap. The hope being that if I was neg for HPV that I would be able to get the vaccine. Not only would that vaccine not be covered by insurance, but the pap itself wasn’t covered.

I find it very strange (well perhaps not THAT strange, having dealt with insurance companies A LOT) that despite the amount of information out there suggesting that men get HPV too, that such preventatives aren’t readily available. It would make sense to me that they preventative actions would be much cheaper than potential cancer treatment down the road.

The author gave the impression that HPV oropharyngeal cancer only happens in men. A friend of mine recently passed away from this, she was mid-40s and had three daughters. She had radiation treatment, unfortunately the radiation weakened her carotid artery. It burst one day and she bled to death.

There may be another factor at play. For the past 30-ish years, doctors don’t yank tonsils out on the second or third strep infection. More people with tonsils, more people with a place for HPV to live in the throat.

1 Like

Why isn’t oral sex discussed more and more openly? If a man likes to perform oral sex on a female and she has the HPV virus in her system then it tends to make sense that the virus can migrate to the males sinuses, back of the throat (that’s where my husbands was) tonsils and or tongue. We met a young man (at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, during chemo therapy) who was only 24 never drank alcohol or smoked a cigarette in his life. He had tongue cancer and had to have a large portion of his tongue removed. Of course I don’t know what his personal sexual activity is/was but if he was sexually active with oral sex either male or female it would make sense that could be where he contracted his cancer from.
The other thing that is a mystery to me is if men and or women engage in anal sex, then why don’t they do more anal pap smear tests?
Recently I have been trying to get someone to do an anal pap smear due to concerns of rectal cancer (which btw it not dectected during a routine colonoscopy) and that a rectal pap smear is nearly unheard of. I was told the only physicians that are knowledgeable on that subject are proctologists. Which by the time you would be referred to them for rectal cancer, it would be way too late!

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.