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HPV Linked to Increased Skin Cancer Risk

You most likely heard of HPV in recent years because of the multi-media campaign for Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, FDA approved for males and females ages 9-26.  Certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease, cause the majority of cervical cancers in females and genital warts in males and females. Now scientists have uncovered another health concern that appears linked to HPV-- skin cancer.

As published in the British Medical Journal, an international team of researchers discovered that people with several types of HPV strains had an increased risk of developing squamous cell skin cancer, compared to people without HPV.  In the study, people with squamous cell skin cancer were more likely to have two or more types of HPV.  Ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure is a known significant risk factor for squamous cell skin cancer.  In light of their study, the researchers hope that the prevention and treatment of HPV will help reduce the risk of skin cancer.

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