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HPV-Associated Cancers Rates by Race and Ethnicity

The rate of people getting HPV-associated cancers varies by race and ethnicity.

“Incidence rate” means how many people out of a given number get the disease each year. Incidence rates of HPV-associated cancers varied by sex and race or ethnic group.*

  • Black and Hispanic women had higher rates of HPV-associated cervical cancer than white and non-Hispanic women.
  • Vaginal and vulvar cancers are rare. It is estimated that about 800 new cases of HPV-associated vaginal cancer and 3,700 new cases of HPV-associated vulvar cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. More black and Hispanic women get HPV-associated vaginal cancer than women of other races and ethnicities, similar to cervical cancer. More white women get HPV-associated vulvar cancer than women of other races.
  • Penile cancer is another rare cancer. It is estimated that about 1,200 new cases of HPV-associated penile cancers are diagnosed in the United States each year. Black and Hispanic men had higher rates of HPV-associated penile cancer than white and non-Hispanic men.
  • Rates of anal and rectal HPV-associated cancers were higher in women than in men, lower in black women compared with white women, but higher in black men compared with white men. Rectal squamous cell carcinomas are rare; only 2% of rectal cancers were classified as rectal squamous cell carcinoma.
  • In all races and ethnicities, men had higher rates of HPV-associated cancers of the oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) than women. Black and Hispanic men and women had lower rates of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers than white and non-Hispanic men and women.
  • Overall, Asian and Pacific Islander men and women had lower rates of HPV-associated cancers than white men and women.

*Note: This study used cancer registry data to estimate the amount of HPV-associated cancer in the United States by examining cancer in parts of the body and cancer cell types that are more likely to be caused by HPV. Cancer registries do not collect data on the presence or absence of HPV in cancer tissue at the time of diagnosis. In general, HPV is thought to be responsible for more than 90% of anal and cervical cancers, more than 50% of vaginal, vulvar, and penile cancers, and 60% to 70% of oropharyngeal cancers.

HPV-Associated Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity, United States, 2009–2013

Graph showing the age-adjusted incidence rates for cancer in the United States during 2009 to 2013 by race and ethnicity.

Number and Ratea of HPV-Associated Cancersb by Cancer Site, Sex and Race and Ethnicityc, United States, 2009–2013

Cancer Site Sex Race Ethnicity
White Black American Indian/
Alaska Native
Asian/
Pacific Islander
Non-Hispanic Hispanic
Rate Cases Rate Cases Rate Cases Rate Cases Rate Cases Rate Cases
Cervix Female 7.0 8,946 9.0 1,878 6.5 118 5.9 542 7.0 9,712 9.3 1,907
Vagina Female 0.4 664 0.6 120 0.3 5 0.2 20 0.4 738 0.5 76
Vulva Female 2.1 3,269 1.5 316 1.3 20 0.4 32 2.1 3,448 1.3 199
Penis Male 0.8 1,003 0.9 129 0.6 7 0.4 24 0.7 998 1.3 176
Anus Overall 1.6 4,544 1.5 563 0.8 24 0.3 47 1.6 4,844 1.1 347
Female 2.0 3,045 1.4 294 1.0 16 0.4 30 1.9 3,159 1.4 232
Male 1.1 1,499 1.5 269 0.5 8 0.2 17 1.2 1,684 0.7 115
Rectal Overall 0.2 667 0.2 77 0.1 4 0.1 8 0.2 702 0.2 63
Female 0.3 465 0.2 45 * * 0.1 5 0.3 477 0.3 46
Male 0.2 202 0.2 32 * * * * 0.2 226 0.1 17
Oropharynx Overall 4.9 14,555 3.8 1,504 2.8 91 1.3 200 4.8 15,566 2.4 803
Female 1.8 2,778 1.5 335 1.1 18 0.6 52 1.8 3,035 0.9 153
Male 8.2 11,777 6.8 1,169 4.7 72 2.0 148 8.2 12,531 4.3 650
All HPV-associated cancers Overall 12.0 33,648 12.1 4,587 8.1 268 5.3 873 11.9 36,009 10.0 3,571
Female 13.7 19,167 14.3 2,987 10.2 179 7.6 682 13.4 20,570 13.6 2,613
Male 10.3 14,481 9.4 1,599 6.0 89 2.7 191 10.3 15,439 6.3 958

Data are from population-based cancer registries participating in the CDC National Program of Cancer Registries and/or the NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, meeting criteria for high data quality for all years 2009–2013, and covering approximately 99% of the U.S. population.

aRates are per 100,000 persons, age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.

bHPV-associated cancers are defined as cancers at specific anatomic sites and with specific cellular types in which HPV DNA frequently is found. All cancers were confirmed histologically. Cervical cancers (ICD-O-3 site codes C53.0–C53.9) are limited to carcinomas (ICD-O-3 histology codes 8010–8671, 8940–8941). Vaginal (ICD-O-3 site code C52.9), vulvar (ICD-O-3 site codes C51.0–C51.9), penile (ICD-O-3 site codes C60.0–60.9), anal (ICD-O-3 site code C21.0–C21.9), rectal (ICD-O-3 site code C20.9) and oropharyngeal (ICD-O-3 site codes C01.9, C02.4, C02.8, C05.1, C05.2, C09.0, C09.1, C09.8, C09.9, C10.0, C10.1, C10.2, C10.3, C10.4, C10.8, C10.9, C14.0, C14.2 and C14.8) cancer sites are limited to squamous cell carcinomas (ICD-O-3 histology codes 8050–8084, 8120–8131).

cRates are not presented separately for persons with unknown or other race or unknown ethnicity.

* Data suppressed because the total number of cancers for 2009–2013 was <16.

References

Viens LJ, Henley SJ, Watson M, Markowitz LE, Thomas CC, Thompson TD, Razzaghi H, Saraiya M, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Human papillomavirus–associated cancers—United States, 2008–2012. MMWR 2016;65(26):661–666.

Assessing the burden of HPV-associated cancers in the United States (ABHACUS). Cancer 2008;113(S10).

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