Study: HPV vax may also prevent cancer in men

The same HPV vaccines used to guard against cervical cancer in girls and young women could also protect men from a rare penile cancer. But because that cancer is so uncommon, some experts say it just wouldn't be cost effective to offer the jab unless the price comes down dramatically.

HPV infection is just one of several causes of penis cancer. Poor hygiene, smoking and multiple sexual partners are also to blame. But a new study concluded that half of all the men with that form of cancer are infected with HPV. And eradicating two HPV strains--16 and 18--would probably eliminate about 7,000 cases worldwide.

Doctor Silvia de Sanjosé, an author of the study, concludes that those numbers don't justify a widespread vaccination campaign for boys. "Maybe in the near future, when vaccine costs may be much lower," he adds, "one could envisage universal vaccination." But in the meantime the best investment remains in eliminating HPV in females.

- read the story from the Guardian