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Can a sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection (STD/STI) lead to cancer?

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Having an STD/STI increases a person's risk for several types of cancer.

Certain high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer in women. In men, HPV infection can lead to the development of penile cancers. HPV also can cause cancers of the mouth, throat, and anus in both sexes.1 

Acquiring viral hepatitis B or C puts a person at risk for liver cancer, and untreated HIV/AIDS increases risk for several types of rare cancers, including lymphomas, sarcomas, and cervical cancer.2


  1. Committee on Infectious Diseases. (2012). HPV vaccine recommendations. Pediatrics, 129, 602–605. [top]
  2. Simard, E. P., Pfeiffer, R. M., & Engels, E. A. (2011). Cumulative incidence of cancer among individuals with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in the United States. Cancer, 117, 1089–1096. [top]

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