Understanding the burden of human papillomavirus-associated anal cancers in the US

Djenaba A. Joseph, Jacqueline W. Miller, Xiaocheng Wu, Vivien W. Chen, Cyllene R. Morris, Marc T. Goodman, Jose M. Villalon-Gomez, Melanie A. Williams, Rosemary D Cress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Anal cancer is an uncommon malignancy in the US; up to 93% of anal cancers are associated with human papillomavirus. METHODS. Cases diagnosed between 1998 and 2003 from 39 population-based cancer registries were analyzed. The following anal cancer histologies were included in the analysis: squamous cell, adenocarcinoma, and small cell/neuroendocrine carcinomas. Incidence rates were age-adjusted to the 2000 US standard population. RESULTS. From 1998 through 2003, the annual age-adjusted invasive anal cancer incidence rate was 1.5 per 100,000 persons. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was the most common histology overall, accounting for 18,105 of 21,395 (84.6%) cases of anal cancer. Women had a higher rate of SCC (1.5 per 100,000) than men (1.0). Whites and blacks had the highest incidence rate (1.3), whereas Asians/Pacific Islanders (API) had the lowest rate (0.3). Incidence rates of anal SCC increased 2.6% per year on average. The majority of SCC cases were diagnosed at the in situ or localized stage (58.1%). API were more likely to be diagnosed with regional or distant stage disease than were other racial/ethnic groups (27.5% and 11.8%, respectively). Males had lower 5-year relative survival than females for all stages of disease. CONCLUSIONS. Rates of anal SCC varied by sex, race, and ethnicity. A higher proportion of API were diagnosed at regional/distant stage. Men had lower 5-year survival rates than women. Continued surveillance and additional research are needed to assess the potential impact of the HPV vaccine on the anal cancer burden in the US.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2892-2900
Number of pages9
Issue number10 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Nov 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anal cancer
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Incidence rates
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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