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Release Date: 07/13/2016

Research recently published by a team from the Program in Women’s Oncology at Women & Infants Hospital, underscored the need for physicians to consider screening patients for anal cancer when they present with a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

The study – entitled “Evaluation of Anal Cytology and Dysplasia in Women with a History of Lower Genital Tract Dysplasia and Malignancy” – was published in the professional journal Gynecologic Oncology. It promotes the work of a team led by Katina Robison, MD, and includes Beth Cronin, MD; Christine Luis, MS; Steven Schechter, MD; Latha Pisharodi, MD; and Paul DiSilvestro, MD.

The recently released research supports earlier published studies Dr. Robison and the team have conducted that connect anal cancer and HPV. Dr. Robison originally presented research indicating the likelihood that the two diseases would coexist in some women at the 2014 HPV Conference.

“This is just further support for our belief that certain women with a history of an HPV-related genital infection would benefit greatly from anal cancer screening,” says Dr. Robison, who is also an assistant professor and co-director of colposcopy at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Anal cancer screening is routinely performed using anal cytology in HIV positive men and women, as well as in men having sex with men. Anal cancer is five times more likely in women with a history of cervical, vaginal or vulvar cancer, which are all linked to HPV. The research indicated that 40 percent of these women were found to have abnormal anal cytology and 20.8 percent of them had high-risk HPV.

In women with no history of cancer, dysplasia or abnormal Pap smears, just 21.7 percent had abnormal anal cytology and only 1.2 percent had high-risk HPV.

Women interested in making an appointment with Dr. Robison or other providers with the Program in Women’s Oncology at Women & Infants can call (401) 453-7520.

About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 12th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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