Doctors are concerned about cell changes and precancers related to certain types of HPV, as they are more likely to develop into cancers over time. The most common high-risk types of HPV include HPV 16 and 18, which are referred to as “oncogenic”, as they put a person at risk for cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer found that 13 types of HPV can cause cervical cancer, and at least one of these types can cause cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and certain types of head and neck cancers (specifically, the oropharynx, which includes the back of the throat, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils). Low-risk HPV strains, such as HPV 6 and 11, are responsible for causing about 90% of genital warts.
These growths may look like bumps and can appear weeks or months after having sex with an infected partner. Although genital warts rarely turn into cancer, studies have found a significantly higher risk of developing anogenital cancers (especially HPV-related cancers) in patients with genital warts. There was also a moderate increase in the risk of smoking-related, lung, liver, kidney and prostate cancers. Men with genital warts had a slightly higher risk of developing cancer everywhere compared to women.
In total, 21763 patients (40.33% men and 59.67% women) were diagnosed with genital warts during the study period. The age distribution of patients with genital warts showed a maximum incidence between 20 and 29 years. The highest incidence of genital warts in both sexes peaked between 20 and 29 years of age, with 0.18 cases in men and 0.32 cases in women per 100 person-years. Table 3 illustrates the cases of cancers with a significant increase in SIRs (Standardized Incidence Ratios), stratified according to the duration of follow-up and age at the time of diagnosis of genital warts.
Of patients with smoking-related cancers, 77.18% developed malignancies within 5 years after diagnosis of genital warts. Genital warts are a common condition that affects millions of people in the United States each year. According to recent estimates, more than 500,000 new cases are reported annually. It is important to be aware that having genital warts increases your risk for developing certain types of cancer over time.
Therefore, it is important to get tested regularly for HPV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to reduce your risk for developing cancer.