Acta Cytol 2019 12;63(2):118-123. Epub 2019 Mar 12.
Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal,
Human papillomavirus is associated with several anogenital and oropharyngeal lesions, including warts, premalignant lesions, and cancer. There are specific groups that were identified as high-risk groups for anal squamous cell carcinoma and anal human papillomavirus infection, namely HIV-positive patients, men who have sex with men, women with genital tract neoplasia, and solid organ transplant recipients. Condylomas have classically been considered to be a benign lesion, with an exception made for the Buschke-Loewenstein tumor, but several publications have shown that a high percentage of condylomas harbor high-grade lesions. Due to the similarities between anal and cervical carcinogenesis, anal cancer screening based on anal cytology and referral to high-resolution anoscopy, in case of abnormalities, have been advocated. Testing for anal human papillomavirus is not routinely done in anal cancer screening, because of the very high prevalence in high-risk populations. The large majority of anal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), and around 90% are attributed to human papillomavirus. Human papillomavirus positivity in anal SCC seems to have a prognostic value, with better survival in those patients with positive tumors. Prophylactic vaccination has been shown to be important for prevention of anal human papillomavirus-related lesions.
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