An analysis of temporal and generational trends in the incidence of anal and other HPV-related cancers in Southeast England

Br J Cancer. 2009 Feb 10;100(3):527-31. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604871. Epub 2009 Jan 20.


Patients diagnosed in 1960-2004 with cancer of the cervix, anus, vulva, vagina or penis were identified from the Thames Cancer Registry database, and age-standardised period (temporal) incidence rates calculated by direct standardisation. Age-cohort modelling techniques were used to estimate age-specific incidence rates in the earlier and later cohorts, enabling the calculation of age-standardised cohort (generational) rates. Incidence of anal cancer increased for both men and women over the period studied, mainly in those born from 1940 onwards. Similar generational patterns were seen for cancers of the vulva and vagina, but those for penile cancer were different. For cervix cancer, the steep downward trend in cohort rates due to screening levelled off in women born from 1940 onwards. Our findings are compatible with the hypothesis that changes in sexual practices were a major contributor to the increases of these cancers. Programmes of vaccination against HPV, aimed at reducing the burden of cervical cancer, may also help to reduce the incidence of cancer at other anogenital sites.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alphapapillomavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Anus Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Anus Neoplasms / virology
  • Cohort Studies
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / epidemiology*
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / virology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged