Study Shows a Link between HPV and Anal Cancer

There is a correlation between HPV (human papillomavirus) infection and anal cancer, new study shows.

A report published by researchers working at the Women and Infants Hospital in New England indicates that there is a close connection between human papillomavirus disease and anal cancer. According to the study a rise in HPV infection may also lead to increased chances of getting cancer of the anus. The study report is contained in the latest issue of the Obstetrics and Gynecology professional journal.

human papillomavirusThis latest findings are a continuation of a similar study that was led and coordinated by Katina Robison, MD, an oncology researcher at Women &Infants. According to the initial study which was presented during the HPV Conference held in 2014, it was shown that there was a high chance of both diseases coexisting in some women.

“HPV is linked to anal cancer that commonly affects women, and in the year 2014, 4,500 women out of a total of 7,200 cases were reported to have anal cancer. According to Dr. Robison, co-director of colposcopy co-director and assistant professor at Brown’s University’s Warren Alpert School of Medicine, since the two ailments are connected it would be wise for women suffering from genital infection related to HPV to also go for screening of anal cancer.

Screening of anal cancer is commonly done using anal cytology on men and women who are HIV positive and also men who have intercourse with other men. Statistics show that women with a record of vulvar, vaginal, or cervical cancer are five times more prone to get anal cancer. Dr. Robison’s intention was to ascertain the viability of screening women who are HIV negative using HPV testing and anal cytology.

The study which was undertaken between December 2012 and February 2014 looked at 273 women sourced from Women and Infant’ outpatient clinics and entailed HPV genotyping and Anal cytology. Women whose anal cytology was abnormal were re-directed to high-resolution anoscopy. The participants also underwent biopsy though under the watch of a colorectal surgeon.

The 273 participants were split into two categories – the first group was “high-risk group” that consisted of women having a history of vulvar, vaginal or cervical while the second group, “low-risk group” comprised of women with no history of dysplasia, abnormal Pap smear, or cancer.

At the end of the research 40% of the high-risk individuals had abnormal anal cytology while only 21.7% in the low-risk category had it. 20.8% in the high-risk category had high-risk HPV while only 1.2% in low-risk group was affected.