Human Papillomavirus-Associated Cancers - United States, 2008-2012

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016 Jul 8;65(26):661-6. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6526a1.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a known cause of cervical cancers, as well as some vulvar, vaginal, penile, oropharyngeal, anal, and rectal cancers (1,2). Although most HPV infections are asymptomatic and clear spontaneously, persistent infections with one of 13 oncogenic HPV types can progress to precancer or cancer. To assess the incidence of HPV-associated cancers, CDC analyzed 2008-2012 high-quality data from the CDC's National Program of Cancer Registries and the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. During 2008-2012, an average of 38,793 HPV-associated cancers were diagnosed annually, including 23,000 (59%) among females and 15,793 (41%) among males. By multiplying these counts by the percentages attributable to HPV (3), CDC estimated that approximately 30,700 new cancers were attributable to HPV, including 19,200 among females and 11,600 among males. Cervical precancers can be detected through screening, and treatment can prevent progression to cancer; HPV vaccination can prevent infection with HPV types that cause cancer at cervical and other sites (3). Vaccines are available for HPV types 16 and 18, which cause 63% of all HPV-associated cancers in the United States, and for HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58, which cause an additional 10% (3). Among the oncogenic HPV types, HPV 16 is the most likely to both persist and to progress to cancer (3). The impact of these primary and secondary prevention interventions can be monitored using surveillance data from population-based cancer registries.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Neoplasms / virology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / ethnology
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Registries
  • SEER Program
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult