Human papillomavirus-associated cancers - United States, 2004-2008

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012 Apr 20;61:258-61.


Oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) has a causal role in nearly all cervical cancers and in many vulvar, vaginal, penile, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers. Most HPV infections clear within 1-2 years, but those that persist can progress to precancer or cancer. In the United States, public health prevention of cervical cancer includes both secondary prevention through cervical cancer screening and primary prevention through HPV vaccination. Transmission of HPV also can be reduced through condom use and limiting the number of sexual partners. Two vaccines (bivalent and quadrivalent) are available to protect against HPV types 16 and 18, which are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. HPV 16 also is the most common HPV type found in the other five cancers often associated with HPV. To assess the incidence of HPV-associated cancers (i.e., cancers at specific anatomic sites and with specific cell types in which HPV DNA frequently is found), CDC analyzed 2004-2008 data from the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program. During 2004-2008, an average of 33,369 HPV-associated cancers were diagnosed annually (rate: 10.8 per 100,000 population), including 12,080 among males (8.1 per 100,000) and 21,290 among females (13.2). Multiplying the counts for HPV-associated cancers by percentages attributable to HPV, CDC estimated that approximately 26,000 new cancers attributable to HPV occurred each year, including 18,000 among females and 8,000 among males. Population-based cancer registries are important surveillance tools to measure the impact on cancer rates of public health interventions such as vaccination and screening.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anus Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Anus Neoplasms / virology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / virology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / ethnology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data
  • SEER Program
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / virology*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines