(HealthDay News) — The incidence and burden of oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) is projected to increase among men in the United States, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in The Lancet Regional Health: Americas.

Haluk Damgacioglu, Ph.D., from the UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston, and colleagues developed a microsimulation model of OPC natural history among contemporary and future birth cohorts of men.

The status quo scenario was evaluated based on current human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination uptake remaining stable, and alternative scenarios were assessed assuming improvements in uptake rates were achieved by 2025 and the 80 percent goal was maintained.

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The researchers projected that the incidence of OPC will increase until the mid-2030s, reaching an age-standardized incidence rate of 9.8 per 100,000 men, with a peak of 23,850 cases annually. HPV vaccination could prevent 124,000, 400,000, and 792,000 OPC cases among men by 2060, 2080, and 2100, respectively, under the status quo scenario.

An additional 100,000, 118,000, and 142,000 OPC cases in men could be prevented by 2100 with achievement and maintenance of 80 percent coverage among adolescent girls only, adolescent girls and boys, and adolescents plus young adults, respectively. Delayed recovery of the HPV vaccine uptake during the COVID-19 pandemic could result in an additional 600 to 6,200 OPC cases in men by 2100.

“This work is a clear and important reminder that to prevent avoidable suffering and death from HPV-related cancer in our future, we must act by protecting adolescents in our present,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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