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Latest Gardasil-for-Boys Scare Tactic: Penile Cancer

Back in November, BNET suggested we were about to see a media campaign full of scary stuff -- anal cancer, anyone? -- for which the prevention is Merck's HPV vaccine, Gardasil. This week, it arrived.

Spanish researchers reporting in the Journal of Clinical Pathology found that 46.9 percent of all penile cancers are caused by HPV. (And yes, penile cancer is located exactly where you think it is.) They said:

About 26,300 men develop penile cancer each year. It accounts for less than 1 percent of cancers in European and North American men, and up to 10 percent of tumors in men from Africa and Asia, studies show.
So about 12,334 men on the planet actually get penile cancer from HPV. Given the population -- 6.8 billion -- the chance of any man getting penile cancer is pretty much zero percent.

You do not get a prize for guessing how this information came about. To quote Bloomberg:

[Author Silvia] De Sanjose has received research grants from Merck, its partner Sanofi-Aventis SA and Glaxo [maker of Cervarix]. The companies had no role in preparing, analyzing or interpreting the research, the authors of the review said.