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Monday, 24 March 2014

Oral $ex can cause mouth cancer — Study

•Men are more susceptible
The actor Michael Douglas gave the much-needed exposure on the risk of oral sex when he announced last year that Human Papillomavirus, (HPV) a sexually transmitted disease, caused his throat cancer and experts are in agreement with him.

HPV is a $exually transmitted diseases which is usually caused by oral and genital sex and the types found in the mouth are almost entirely sexually transmitted with oral sex being the most likely route of getting them.
Throat cancer, also known as oropharyngeal cancer, refers to tumors that occur in the tonsils, the base of the tongue, and upper throat. Excessive smoking, chewing tobacco, and drinking alcohol have been the main risk factor, but in recent years, throat cancers related to the sexually transmitted virus HPV have been on the rise.
Experts are blaming the rise on the change in sexual behaviour as people are becoming more bold and adventurous in bed and more men want to be known for their sexual prowess.
People who are developing throat cancer caused by HPV, likely got infected ten or fifteen years ago as HPV can lay dormant for years. The virus often has no noticeable signs or symptoms and most carriers are
unaware they have the infection.
Currently, there is little research that looks at the possible risks from giving oral sex to a man compared to giving oral sex to a woman but cases of HPV-related mouth cancer is more than twice as common in men than women. This indicates that performing cunnilingus (oral sex on a woman) is more risky than performing fellatio (oral sex on a man). A 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that about 10 per cent of men had oral HPV, while almost 4 per cent of women do.
Those at high risk of contracting HPV are those with weakened immune systems and those with large number of sexual partners. Since women normally downplay the number of men they have been with and men tend to exaggerate the number of women they have been with, it is difficult to determine the rate of multiple sexual partners your partner has had as this also increase your risk of getting the virus.
Oral HPV testing in both men and women is difficult as testing positive does not prove persistence of the infection which is the main cause for concern.
HPV has no cure and mostly goes away by itself within two years and does not cause any health problem. It is not known why HPV goes away in most but not all cases. There are a small percentage of people whose immune system do not recognise it as a threat and allows it to flourish and stay in the body for many years, which is when it causes problem. Even then, it is a very small number of people that will have an HPV infection turn into an oral cancer. HPV-related tumours prognostics are far better than those related to smoking and alcohol and it has a high cure rate.
HPV has also been associated with cancers of the anus, penis, cervix, vagina and vulva.

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