HPV-Linked Cancer Survival Rates Differ Based on Social Disparities

HealthDay News — For patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers, there are large disparities in survival based on sex, race, and age, according to a study published in Cancer.

Hilda Razzaghi, PhD, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined high-quality data from 27 population-based cancer registries covering about 59% of the US population to examine how relative survival varies for HPV-associated cancers. The analyses were limited to invasive cancers diagnosed during 2001 through 2011, and followed through 2011. Five-year relative survival was calculated from diagnosis to death.

The researchers found that the 5-year age-standardized relative survival rates for cervical carcinomas, vaginal squamous cells carcinomas (SCCs), vulvar SCCs, penile SCCs, anal SCCs, rectal SCCs, and oropharyngeal SCCs were 64.2%, 52.8%, 66.0%, 47.4%, 65.9%, 56.2%, and 51.2%, respectively. 

Compared with black patients, white patients had consistently higher 5-year relative survival for all HPV-associated cancers across all age groups, with the greatest differences by race seen for oropharyngeal SCCs among those aged <60 years and among those aged 40 to 49 years with penile SCCs.

“There are large disparities in relative survival among patients with HPV-associated cancers by sex, race, and age,” the authors write. “HPV vaccination and improved access to screening (of cancers for which screening tests are available) and treatment, especially among groups that experience higher incidence and lower survival, may reduce disparities in survival from HPV-associated cancers.”

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Razzaghi H, Saraiya M, Thompson TD, et al. Five-year relative survival for human papillomavirus-associated cancer sites [published online November 6, 2017]. Cancer doi: 10.1002/cncr.30947