HPV-related cancer in men: Former GDLA exec producer shares his story and what you need to know

- There are about 40,000 cases of HPV-associated cancers diagnosed annually in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What most don't know is that 41 percent of those patients are men -- including former Good Day LA Executive Producer Steve Holzer.

HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex, according to the CDC. HPV can also be passed on during oral sex.

The infection can be responsible for several cancers, including cancers in the back of the throat in an area called the oropharynx.

A recent study led by University of Florida researchers found that rates of oropharyngeal cancer among men "have risen more than 300 percent in the past 40 years, making it the most common HPV-related cancer."

The scary thing is since HPV usually causes no symptoms, most men and woman can get HPV and pass it on without even realizing it. The only approved HPV tests on the market are for screening women for cervical cancer -- and there is currently no HPV test recommended for men. 

Holzer, along with Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia, joined us to talk about how he found out his diagnosis, his experience going through treatment, and what others should know about the infection.

The CDC recommends that 11- to 12-year-old boys and girls receive two doses of the 9-valent HPV vaccine at least six months apart. Read more about the Gardasil vaccine here.

You can also read more about Steve Holzer's experience on his blog #BecauseIHaveCancer.

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