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Oral sex can cause throat cancer
People who have had more than five
oral-sex partners in their lifetime are 250% more likely to have throat
cancer than those who do not have oral sex, a new study suggests. The
researchers believe this is because oral sex may transmit human
papillomavirus (HPV), the virus implicated in the majority of cervical
The new findings should encourage
people to consistently use condoms during oral sex as this could protect
against HPV, the team says. Other experts say that the results provide
more reason for men to receive the new HPV vaccine.
Maura Gillison at Johns Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, US, and
colleagues collected blood and saliva samples from the throats of 100
patients diagnosed with cancers of the tonsils or back of the throat. The
scientists also took samples from 200 healthy people for comparison.
Increasing rates of HPV infection,
spread through oral sex, is largely driving the rapid rise in oropharyngeal
cancers, which include tumors of the throat, tonsils,
and base of the tongue,
said Scott Lippman, MD, who chairs the thoracic department at the University of
Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
abuse were once considered the only major risk factors for these cancers,
but this is no longer the case.
Sex Is Not Safe Sex
The experts agreed that it is critical for the public
to understand that oral sex doesn’t equal safe
The message was unofficially promoted in the early days of the HIV
epidemic and it is still widely believed by many, especially teens.
Studies suggest that teens are often unaware of the risks
associated with unprotected oral sex, including the transmission of HPV, Chlamydia,
About Throat Cancer
Throat cancer often develops from squamous cells on the
mucosal surfaces of the larynx, pharynx or mouth. Smoking cigarettes and
drinking large quantities of alcohol can increase a person's risk for developing
throat cancer. Head and neck cancers account for about 5 percent of cancers in
the United States. Throat cancers usually develop around age 60, and men are 10
times more likely to develop them than women. (Men perform oral sex on the
woman, and if that woman has the cancer cells in that area, the men take those
into their body, which then later forms the throat cancer.)
How often does this occur ?
Oral and pharyngeal cancer is the sixth most
common malignancy reported worldwide.
The incidence and mortality from oral cancer is rising in several
regions of Europe, Taiwan, Japan and Australia. Every year in
Europe, around 100,800 people are diagnosed with head and neck cancer and almost
40,000 die from the disease. In the USA alone, 30,000 Americans
are diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer each year. About 90 percent of head
and neck cancers are of the squamous cell variety. Although there have been
significant improvements in chemotherapy and surgical techniques, the disease is
often particularly challenging to treat since most patients present with
advanced disease, have secondary tumors and suffer from other co-morbidities. Unfortunately
5-year survival rate has not improved (50% overall) for the last few decades
except in specialized cancer centers.
of information : WebMD,
Mouth Cancer Foundation
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