Background: Cervical cancer is one of the most common tumors in women. One of its risk factors is direct contact with viruses, in particular human papillomavirus (HPV). Recent studies have shown a prevalence of 2%-35% for HPV in cases with bladder cancer. In addition, some malignancies of the urogenital organs in males may promote the probability of cervical cancer in their spouses. In this study, the relationship between cervical dysplasia in women and evidence of HPV infection in tissue specimens obtained from their spouses' bladders has been investigated.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 82 male patients with bladder tumors and their spouses between February 2004 and February 2007 in Tehran. We gathered data related to the histopathology of the transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) in men and Pap smear tests of their spouses. Tissue specimens of patients with bladder TCC were analyzed for HPV infection using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). HPV-positive specimens were tested for subtypes 16 and 18.
Results: In 24 (29.3%) men, bladder tumor samples were positive for HPV infection. Of these, we found HPV-18 infection in 9 (37.5%), while 3 (12.5%) were infected with HPV-16. In the spouses of those men with HPV-infected bladder tumors, 4 (4.9%) cases had cellular dysplasia noted on their Pap smear tests. We found no dysplasia in those women whose husbands had bladder TCC, but no HPV infection (P = 0.006).
Conclusion: It is possible to decrease the incidence of bladder TCC in men and cervical cancer in women through public education regarding the methods of transmission and avoidance of risky sexual behaviors.