According to gynecologist Lucyla Baeta, “men can catch the disease and can pass it on, so this measure is essential”
Preventing the disease not only reduces the incidence of cervical cancer, but also penile, anal, vaginal and oropharyngeal cancers and genital warts
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, August 23 2019: Gynecologist at Hospiten Bellevue, Lucyla Baeta, states that it is essential to include male children in vaccination campaigns against human papillomavirus (HPV) to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer and genital lesions, among others.
“Men remain excluded from the recommendations of the public health system when they can also become infected and infect others. This is a particularly sensitive aspect because cervical cancer is strictly a sexually transmitted disease that does not originate in genetics or family history, so its incidence could be greatly reduced by carrying out a policy of prevention that covers all risk groups of the population”, explains Dr. Baeta.
The virus is associated with other types of cancer other than neck cancer, such as anal and penile cancer, and a significant percentage of head and neck tumors. So effective prevention of HPV, not only in women, but also in men, would help reduce the incidence of penile, anal, oropharyngeal and vaginal cancer and genital warts. All these diseases are directly related to infection by this virus which "are not being given the importance they have," says Dr. Baeta. In fact, "together with precancerous lesions, condylomas are precisely the most common lesions in Spain and those that have the greatest impact on health expenditure," she says.
Furthermore, another of the problems in males is diagnosis. While women have regular screening of their genital health (cytology smear pap and HPV testing), men do not go to the urologist for check-ups and, in addition, the diagnosis of HPV infection in men is more complicated, since there are no specific tests, but the examination is limited to observation and checking for warts or lesions in the genital area.
Once HPV is diagnosed in a man, the recommendation is the same as for a woman: monitoring himself and his partner and using condoms. “This contraceptive method, used correctly, is capable of preventing HPV,” states Dr. Baeta, who emphasizes that the belief that the condom really is not an effective method stems from misuse of the method. "It is very important to use a condom in all sexual intercourse and before penetration to ensure its effectiveness in preventing this infection," she adds.
The importance of sex education
As for vaccination, although it is deal is to vaccinate before the first sexual intercourse, it is recommended up to 45 years of age. In the period of most frequent contact with the virus, between 18-25 years, not all women have contact with all serotypes, so the vaccine may still be useful at more advanced ages. We also know that natural immunity cannot always prevent reinfection, which makes vaccination more advisable.
The Hospiten Group is an international health network committed to providing top quality service, with 50 years of experience, which has twenty private medical-hospital centers in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica and Panama, and more than one hundred outpatient centers, under the brand Clinic Assist. The group is chaired by Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella and annually attends more than 1,700,000 patients worldwide, and employs a workforce of more than 5,000 people.