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HPV may boost skin cancer risk

  |   July 10, 2010 at 12:59 AM
HANOVER, N.H., July 10 (UPI) -- Human papillomaviruses may be linked to an increased risk of developing some skin cancers, U.S. researchers said.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, also found the risk of skin cancers may worsened if the people are taking immunosuppression drugs.

Professor Margaret Karagas of the Dartmouth Medical School said HPV infection -- there are more than 100 types -- and other types of HPVs are known to cause cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus and penis.

The researchers studied 2,366 people living in New Hampshire -- 663 people with squamous cell carcinoma, 898 people with basal cell carcinoma and 805 healthy controls.

As well as interviewing the study participants, the researchers measured HPV antibodies in blood samples of newly diagnosed and confirmed basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma patients. The researchers tracked the patients from July 1993 to June 1995 and July 1997 to March 2000.

The study found those with squamous cell carcinoma were 1.4 times more likely to have two to three types of HPV and 1.7 times more likely to have greater than eight types of HPV compared with the control group.

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