About this Research Topic
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is common worldwide. The population-wide prevalence of HPV varies among studies and countries and closely reflects age and sexual activity. HPV has consistently been associated with cancer of the uterine cervix. HPV infection is also implicated in vulvar, penile, vaginal, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers. Current estimates indicate that HPV causes 600,000 new cancer cases annually, accounting for 5% of cancer burden globally. HPVs also cause benign diseases such as genital warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Furthermore, some studies have suggested a carcinogenic role for HPV in subsets of colorectal and breast cancers.
In the past few decades, the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer have decreased significantly. Cytological Pap smear screening has helped reducing cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates by 70% in developed countries. Vaccination against HPV infection is expected to further reduce the incidence of HPV-related cancers in vaccinated populations. Studies have shown nearly complete efficacy of the vaccines against cervical cytological abnormalities and precancerous lesions in women, as well as against anogenital HPV infection, intraepithelial lesions and genital warts in males. However, HPV-related cancers are still common, and cervical cancer is a major cause of mortality in women. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, cervical cancer is the third most common cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide. More than 85% of the global burden occurs in low- and middle-income countries. The incidence of HPV-related cancer and survival of these cancer cases have wide variations across countries. Other factors, including socioeconomic-related factors, may play an important role in these differences, perhaps by influencing lifestyle and access to health care and early diagnosis.
In order to increase our understanding of the role of socioeconomic disparities in HPV infection, HPV vaccination, and HPV-related cancer incidence, screening, and survival, this Research Topic aims to provide a platform for research papers, reviews, perspectives and thought on the above topics from various areas of the world. This information may eventually be useful in the design and implementation of cost effective strategies to reduce the burden of HPV-related cancers.
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