Oral Sex Fueling A Throat Cancer ‘Epidemic’

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This is going to be hard for some people to swallow. I’ll ease my way into this one and try my best to soften the blow a little. I’ll do that by starting off with some good news.

The good news is that oral sex is still going strong. The bad news is that throat cancer is on the rise and has been for the past two decades. The worse news than that is that doctors believe the two are related.

Oral Sex Fueling A Throat Cancer 'Epidemic'
Cases of oral and pharynx cancer (Image Credit: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services via Daily Mail)

Dr. Hisham Mehanna, from the University of Birmingham, is one of those doctors. The doctor says that 70 percent of cases of throat cancer are caused by the human papillomavirus, better known as HPV. The harmless virus – you know besides the cancer – is spread through sexual activity.

HPV has been linked to multiple forms of cancers, including the increase in throat cancer in the west. Dr Mehanna said, “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.”

This type of cancer is the most common and takes place in the back of the throat. I know what you’re thinking, this sucks and everyone is doomed. Not exactly.

While doctors say HPV from oral sex is now the biggest risk factor for oropharyngeal cancer, there are a few ways to reduce the risk. There’s a vaccine and, maybe impossible for some, but having oral sex with less than six partners will help.

It’s A Risk Many Will Be Willing To Take

Don’t take my word for it, I’m not a doctor. I’m simply trying to figure out how to avoid a complete oral sex disaster.

Dr. Mehanna is, however, and this is what the doc had to say, “HPV is sexually transmitted. For oropharyngeal cancer, the main risk factor is the number of lifetime sexual partners, especially oral sex.”

“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.”

There you have it. Not my word on the subject, but a doctors.

Written by Sean Joseph

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