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Link between HPV infection and skin cancer in men

Posted Jul 03 2012 4:58am

A study conducted in Germany and the USA has discovered that men are more likely to develop basal cell carcinomaA type of skin cancer. (BCCAn abbreviation for basal cell carcinoma.) and squamousRelating to cells that make up epithelium, the outer layer of cells that covers the open surfaces of the body. cell carcinoma (SCCsquamous cell carcinoma) if they have contracted the Human Papilloma Virus (HPVAn abbreviation for human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted virus that can cause genital warts and may also have a role in the development of various cancers.). Whilst the main cause of non-melanomaA malignant tumour arising from pigmented cells or melanocytes, most often in the skin skin cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. is exposure to the sun’s UV radiationEnergy in the form of waves or particles, including radio waves, X-rays and gamma rays., other risk factors of skin cancer include light skin and hair as well as HPV infectionInvasion by organisms that may be harmful, for example bacteria or parasites.; men are also at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

The teams of scientists, who published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, believe that HPV infection may interfere with the body’s ability to prevent UV radiation damage, which can lead to the development of tumours and both types of non-melanoma skin cancer.

The researchers recommend that further studies be undertaken to identify how infection with HPV might increase the risk of developing skin cancer in order to improve diagnosisThe process of determining which condition a patient may have., prevention and treatment of this condition.

HPV, or Wart Virus as it is more commonly known, is a family of virusesMicrobes that are only able to multiply within living cells. that can infect humans. The viruses are divided into over 100 subtypes according to their characteristics. Most of these do not cause significant disease in humans although some subtypes have been confirmed as agents which cause cervicalRelating either to the cervix (the neck of the womb) or to the cervical vertebrae in the neck (cervical spine). cancer. The type of HPV associated with skin cancer is known as cutaneous Human Papilloma Virus.

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