CANCER SCREENING AND HIV
ANCHOR LEAD: DOES AN INCREASED CANCER RISK MEAN FOLKS WITH AIDS NEED ADDITIONAL SCREENING? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
A type of skin cancer called Kaposi’s sarcoma has always been associated with HIV infection and development of AIDS, but now several other types of cancer have also been found to be more common among those infected. Does this mean additional screening for these cancers is appropriate in this group of people? Joel Gallant, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, offers his opinion.
GALLANT: We don’t screen for all of these cancers. Cancers like lymphoma are too uncommon to do routine screening for. For a lot of the other cancers it’s pretty much the standard for what we would do in anyone else, so for example prostate cancer screening is pretty much the same as for anyone else, but people with HIV and women especially are supposed to have more frequent screening for HPV related cancers. We’re beginning to look also for anal cancer, which is also caused by the same virus, HPV. :27
Gallant emphasizes that there’s no doubt that regular medical care, and especially early use of antiretroviral therapies, is known to improve outcomes for those infected with HIV. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.