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The Link Between Oral Sex and Throat Cancer

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– Oral sex is to blame for throat cancer epidemic — Medical doctor

Throat cancer is reportedly on the rise in the US and UK with some experts pointing at oral sex as the cause.

Recently , Dr Hisham Mehanna, from the UK’s University of Birmingham, said 70 percent of cases of throat cancer are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a normally harmless virus that is spread sexually and has been linked to multiple forms of cancers.

Dr Mehanna said people with multiple oral sex partners have an up to nine-fold increased risk of throat cancer.

He wrote in The Conversation: ‘Over the past two decades, there has been a rapid increase in throat cancer in the west, to the extent that some have called it an epidemic. This has been due to a large rise in a specific type of throat cancer called oropharyngeal cancer.’

Oropharyngeal cancer is the most common type of throat cancer. It appears in the tonsils and back of the throat.  Doctors consider HPV infection to be the biggest risk factor for developing the disease.

Those with six or more lifetime oral-sex partners are 8.5 times more likely to develop oropharyngeal cancer than those who do not practice oral sex.”

More than 50,000 cases of oral or oropharyngeal cancer are diagnosed in the US each year, causing more than 10,000 annual deaths. The number of cases is growing, however, up to 1.3 percent a year in women and 2.8 percent in men, according to the American Cancer Society.

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