In this chapter, we present the available information on the burden of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers (cancers of the cervix, anogenital cancers, and cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx), as well as available data on the prevalence and distribution of HPV types in women with and without cervical cancer, for the countries of the Extended Middle East and North Africa region (EMENA). The EMENA region is characterized by societies that share similar cultures and religions and that are considered to have a more conservative sexual behaviour compared to Western societies. The incidence of cervical cancer is estimated to be relatively low, although it is difficult to assess precisely because systematic and national cancer registries are lacking in many countries of the EMENA region. In these countries, nationwide programs of cervical cancer screening do not exist or are based on a limited opportunistic cytology-based screening, which often lacks quality assurance. The incidence of anogenital cancers other than cervix is very low. The incidence of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx is relatively high in some countries, particularly in Pakistan. Relatively low levels of HPV prevalence have been observed in the several surveys conducted in the EMENA region, although only few young women were included in these studies. Possible changes in lifestyle and sexual behaviour in younger generations might, however, change this scenario. Thus, improving the information on the burden of HPV-related cancers and on the HPV prevalence in the general population is essential to develop a comprehensive intervention policy for future management of cervical cancer in this area. This article forms part of a regional report entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases in the Extended Middle East and North Africa Region" Vaccine Volume 31, Supplement 6, 2013. Updates of the progress in the field are presented in a separate monograph entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases" Vaccine Volume 30, Supplement 5, 2012.
Keywords: Cancer registry; Cervical cancer incidence; Extended Middle East and North Africa; HPV prevalence; HPV-related cancers.
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