A study conducted in Germany and the USA has discovered that men are more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) if they have contracted the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Whilst the main cause of non-melanoma skin cancer is exposure to the sun’s UV radiation, other risk factors of skin cancer include light skin and hair as well as HPV infection; men are also at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
The teams of scientists, who published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, believe that HPV infection may interfere with the body’s ability to prevent UV radiation damage, which can lead to the development of tumours and both types of non-melanoma skin cancer.
The researchers recommend that further studies be undertaken to identify how infection with HPV might increase the risk of developing skin cancer in order to improve diagnosis, prevention and treatment of this condition.
HPV, or Wart Virus as it is more commonly known, is a family of viruses that can infect humans. The viruses are divided into over 100 subtypes according to their characteristics. Most of these do not cause significant disease in humans although some subtypes have been confirmed as agents which cause cervical cancer. The type of HPV associated with skin cancer is known as cutaneous Human Papilloma Virus.