“Korea Should Also Vaccinate Both Men and Women against HPV”, Voice is Getting Louder
“Korea Should Also Vaccinate Both Men and Women against HPV”, Voice is Getting Louder
  • Cho Eun, Reporter
  • 승인 2024.05.28 22:29
  • 수정 2024.05.28 22:29
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Professor Lee Se Young, Chung-Ang University Hospital, claims we underestimate HPV in men
”Australia male vaccination rate 78%...UK, average 70% for both gender”
Dr Lee Se Young, Professor of Otolaryngology at Chung-Ang University Hospital, was giving a presentation at the press conference on the 9th anniversary of the launch of Gardasil 9 on May 27th [Photo by Jo Eun]
Dr Lee Se Young, Professor of Otolaryngology at Chung-Ang University Hospital, was giving a presentation at the press conference on the 9th anniversary of the launch of Gardasil 9 on May 27th [Photo by Jo Eun]

As the incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) disease in men is increasing globally, a voice calling for both men and women to be vaccinated with the 9-valent vaccine is increasing in Korea. 

On May 27th, MSD Korea held a press conference to mark the ninth anniversary of the launch of the HPV vaccine Gardasil 9 in Korea.

“The burden of HPV disease in men is underestimated,” said Dr Lee Se Young, professor of otolaryngology at Chung-Ang University Hospital. “The male HPV vaccination rate in Korea is in the single digits, much lower than those in Australia and the United Kingdom, which have been actively engaged in HPV prevention programs. Australia has a male HPV vaccination rate of 78%, and the UK has an average of 70% for starting with a single dose at age 9 in both men and women.”

According to the International Papilloma Society, HPV is responsible for 5% of cancers worldwide. Estimates of HPV-related cancer incidence suggest that one person is diagnosed with HPV-related cancer every minute worldwide. 

HPV causes not only cervical cancer, but also oropharyngeal, anal, and vaginal cancers regardless of gender. Therefore, both men and women should be vaccinated against HPV to effectively prevent cancer caused by the virus.

Prof. Lee said that oropharyngeal cancer, a typical male HPV cancer, is difficult to diagnose, and there is a low awareness of HPV as a cause of cancer in men. 

He pointed out that the burden of HPV-related cancers in men remains underestimated, even though recurrent genital warts continue to occur.

In fact, the rates of tonsil cancer in Korea, a type of oropharyngeal cancer in men, have tripled from 2002 to 2019. In the United States, oropharyngeal cancer in men has already surpassed cervical cancer in women. 

While 86 of the 120 countries in the world have supported HPV vaccination for both men and women at the national level, Korea has only offered the HPV vaccine to girls aged 12 since 2016. 

Major health organizations around the world are also implementing policy initiatives aimed at vaccinating both men and women.

The European Cancer Organisation recommends HPV vaccination for both boys and girls in all European countries and aims to achieve HPV vaccine access for 90% of boys and girls by 2030.

“Gardasil 9 has more than a decade of real-world clinical evidence and long-term follow-up studies to provide supporting data on HPV disease prevention indicators,” said Dr Yang Gyongseon, Medical Director at MSD. “Vaccinating both men and women with the latest 9-valent vaccine is the best option to protect future generations from HPV-caused cancers and diseases.”

[WIKI KOREA=Cho Eun, Reporter]

choeun@wikileaks-kr.org


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