WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — There has been an increase in the incidence of squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA) in the United States, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Ashish A. Deshmukh, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston, and colleagues examined trends in SCCA incidence (2001 to 2015) and mortality (2001 to 2016) using data from the U.S. Cancer Statistics dataset. The annual and average annual percentage change (AAPC) was computed.

The researchers found that the incidence of SCCA increased by 2.7 percent per year (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 2.1 to 3.3 percent), with pronounced increases among age groups 50 years and older. The incidence of distant-stage SCCA tripled among men and women (AAPC, 8.6 [95 percent CI, 5.4 to 12.0 percent] and 7.5 percent [95 percent CI, 4.8 to 10.2 percent], respectively), and the incidence of regional-stage SCCA nearly doubled (AAPC, 4.7 for both men and women). For localized-stage SCCA, the incidence was 1.3 (95 percent CI, 0.6 to 2.0 percent) and 2.3 percent (95 percent CI, 1.8 to 2.8 percent) for men and women, respectively. Black men born around 1986 had an increased risk for SCCA compared with adults born around 1946 (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 4.7; 95 percent CI, 2.1 to 10.2), and risk was increased for white men and women born after about 1960 (IRRs, 2.0 [95 percent CI, 1.7 to 2.2] and 2.1 [95 percent CI, 1.9 to 2.3], respectively). There was a 3.1 percent (95 percent CI, 2.6 to 3.5 percent) increase in anal cancer mortality rates per year, with statistically significant increases for those aged 50 years and older.

“Improved prevention strategies are urgently needed to mitigate the rising SCCA burden among a rapidly growing number of aging U.S. adults,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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