Breast Cancer in Female Partners of
Ten studies since 1999 have documented high-risk HPVs in breast tumors [Lawson et al., 2006a; Amarante & Watanabe, 2009]. The type(s) in breast were identical to those in the cervix of women with cervical cancer [Hennig et al., 1999; Widschwendter et al., 2004]. This led to the suggestion of transmission during sexual activity [Kan et al., 2005]. In support of this women with HPV-positive breast cancer are significantly younger than those with HPV-negative breast cancer [Lawson et al., 2006b]. HPV-associated koilocytes (which are caused by HPV) have been found in breast skin as well as lobules from normal and ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive ductal carcinoma [Heng et al., 2009; Lawson et al., 2009]. HPV has been found in the bloodstream of cervical cancer patients [Tseng et al., 1999] as well as male blood donors, where the virus is attached to blood cells [Chen et al., 2009]. Other viruses such as mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) have also been implicated [Amarante & Watanabe, 2009]. Although genetic susceptibility is another factor in breast cancer, mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are responsible for only a small proportion of cases. Thus an uncircumcised male partner may also increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, which is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy in women.