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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.*

  • White and Hispanic women had higher rates of HPV-associated cervical cancer than women of other races and non-Hispanic women.
  • Vaginal and vulvar cancers are rare. It is estimated that about 800 new cases of HPV-associated vaginal cancer and 3,900 new cases of HPV-associated vulvar cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. More black women get HPV-associated vaginal cancer than women of other races. More white women get HPV-associated vulvar cancer than women of other races.
  • Penile cancer is another rare cancer. It is estimated that about 1,300 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 per Year by Race and Ethnicity, United States, 2011–2015

Bar chart showing HPV-associated cancer rates per year in the United States by race and ethnicity during 2011 to 2015.

Annual Number and Ratea of HPV-Associated Cancersb by Cancer Site, Sex, and Race and Ethnicityc, United States, 2011–2015

Cancer Site Sex All Races Combined 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 Rate Cases
Cervix Female 7.2 11,866 7.0 9,122 8.4 1,830 6.2 120 5.8 585 69 9,849 9.1 2,016
Vagina Female 0.4 846 0.4 681 0.6 126 0.3 5 0.2 23 0.4 766 0.4 80
Vulva Female 2.1 3,934 2.2 3,503 1.5 330 1.5 25 0.4 40 2.2 3,717 1.2 217
Penis Male 0.8 1,269 0.8 1,084 0.9 133 0.6 8 0.4 26 0.8 1,077 1.2 192
Anus Overall 1.8 6,530 1.9 5,686 1.7 685 1.0 35 0.3 59 1.9 6,081 1.3 449
Female 2.2 4,333 2.4 3,857 1.7 373 1.2 23 0.4 38 2.3 4,033 1.6 300
Male 1.3 2,197 1.3 1,828 1.7 313 0.7 12 0.3 21 1.4 2,048 0.8 149
Oropharynx Overall 4.8 18,225 5.2 16,198 3.7 1,554 2.9 106 1.3 229 5.1 17,338 2.4 887
Female 1.7 3,412 1.8 2,974 1.4 333 1.0 19 0.6 59 1.8 3,247 0.9 165
Male 8.3 14,814 8.8 13,224 6.6 1,221 5.0 87 2.1 170 8.8 14,092 4.3 722
All HPV-associated cancers Overall 12.0 42,670 12.4 36,274 11.6 4,658 8.3 299 5.3 963 12.3 38,829 9.8 3,840
Female 13.6 24,390 13.9 20,137 13.6 2,992 10.2 192 7.5 746 13.8 21,612 13.2 2,777
Male 10.4 18,280 10.9 16,136 9.2 1,666 6.3 107 2.8 217 10.9 17,217 6.3 1,063

Data are from population-based cancer registries participating in CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and/or the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program for 2011 to 2015, covering 100% 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 source: National Program of Cancer Registries SEER*Stat Database: U.S. Cancer Statistics Incidence Analytic file 1998–2015. United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Released June 2018, based on the November 2017 submission.

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