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Is penile cancer caused by HPV?

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Updated January 24, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Is penile cancer caused by HPV?

Answer: Not all penile cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), but research suggests that many probably are. Several studies have found that more than half of penile cancers test positive for high risk HPV DNA.

Furthermore, at least one study has also found an association between penile cancer and heterosexual oral sex, which should give people additional motivation to use condoms for blow jobs ... particularly when they can be so much fun to put on.

Penis cancer is also associated with other sexual risk factors as well as men's health conditions, such as phimosis and balanitis. Smoking and HIV are additional risk factors. Penile cancer is rare in industrialized nations but is much more common in Africa, South America, and Asia.

Source:
Madsen BS et al. (2008) "Risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma of the penis-population-based case-control study in Denmark." Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention 17:2683-2691.

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