B.C Cancer looking into future HPV related cancer screening options for men.
Vice President of Population Oncology with B.C Cancer, Dr. John Spinelli says since HPV shows no symptoms, it can be hard to catch, and if it’s left untreated, it can develop into cancer.
“We have a cervical cancer screen program in British Columbia, its actually the longest serving program in the world, we were the first ones to develop it. And it’s reduced cervical cancer by 70%.”
That being said, Dr. Spinelli says there are still 200 women diagnosed each year, with 50 losing their lives to cervical cancer.
As for why there is currently no screening for men..
“Two reasons for that. One is, the cancers are very rare. So cost effectiveness of screening is not as low as it is for women. It’d be very expensive to screen. There’s been no studies to show that screening for men actually improves outcomes.”
However, Dr. Spinelli says there is a lot of research into oral cancers associated with HPV, with the hope being they’ll be able to screen for men as well as women in the future.