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Head and neck cancers

Vaccinating schoolboys against the potentially deadly human papillomavirus (HPV) could dramatically reduce head and neck cancers in men, it is claimed.

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A two-year project studied 235 patients in Scotland with head and neck cancer and found that 78% of people with head and neck cancers were men, while HPV was present in 60% of the cancers. This means the vaccine may reduce some of these cancers in the long term in Scotland, say scientists.

The study also went on to report that head and neck cancers are disproportionately experienced by people from deprived backgrounds.

A previous report, published in April, said a vaccine for girls had nearly wiped out cases of cervical pre-cancer since an immunisation programme was introduced 10 years ago. Over the last decade, schoolgirls across the UK have routinely received the HPV vaccine when they are 12 or 13.  

 

Image credit | Science Photo Library 

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