Anal cancer is usually caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), the most common sexaully transmitted disease (STD) in America. While it is not a very common condition, the number of reported cases have increased over the past few years, especially among men who have sex with men.
In response to this, doctors from the University of California conducted a trial to determine if a vaccine would be effective in preventing the development of anal cancer, and their results were positive.
“Almost 6,000 people every year in this country are diagnosed with anal cancer and more than 700 die from the disease,” said researcher Joel Palefsky, M.D.”What this trial showed is that those cancers and deaths could be prevented.”
The vaccine they used is the highly-discussed HPV shot that has been in the news so often lately. While many people remain torn over whether children should be vaccinated for this STD, these findings complement the recent federal advisory committee suggestion that immunization of boys against this disease should be considered as well. Currently there is no way to test for HPV in men. To prevent the spread of other STDs please get tested regularly.