Link between HPV infection and skin cancer in men

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.

A type of skin cancer. Full medical glossary
An abbreviation for basal cell carcinoma. Full medical glossary
Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
A malignant tumour (cancer) that is formed from the epithelium, the tissue that covers the open surfaces of organs. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of all living organisms. Full medical glossary
Relating either to the cervix (the neck of the womb) or to the cervical vertebrae in the neck (cervical spine). Full medical glossary
The process of determining which condition a patient may have. Full medical glossary
An abbreviation for human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted virus that can cause genital warts and may also have a role in the development of various cancers. Full medical glossary
Invasion by organisms that may be harmful, for example bacteria or parasites. Full medical glossary
A malignant tumour arising from pigmented cells or melanocytes, most often in the skin Full medical glossary
per vaginam Full medical glossary
Energy in the form of waves or particles, including radio waves, X-rays and gamma rays. Full medical glossary
septic arthritis Full medical glossary
squamous cell carcinoma Full medical glossary
Relating to cells that make up epithelium, the outer layer of cells that covers the open surfaces of the body. Full medical glossary
A group within a group. Full medical glossary
An abnormal swelling. Full medical glossary
A microbe that is only able to multiply within living cells. Full medical glossary
Microbes that are only able to multiply within living cells. Full medical glossary