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Some types of oral cancer are linked to human papilloma virus HPV infection in the mouth and throat. Find out the possible risks of this infection from oral sex, and how to protect yourself. Oral cancers are sometimes called head and neck cancers, and include cancers of the mouth, lip and tongue, as well as cancers of the tonsils, oesophagus, larynx voice box , nasopharynx the area that connects the nose and throat and the thyroid gland. Experts have known for years that the main risk factors for oral cancer are drinking alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco. But there is growing evidence that infection in the mouth with HPV is a major cause of oral cancer. The virus becomes part of the genetic material of the cancer cells, triggering them to grow.
The most commonly transmitted STD in the U. The oncogenic oral HPV virus occurs in 3. And a new study has found that men who've had oral sex with 5 or more partners and are cigarette smokers have a far greater chance of having an HPV-OPC infection than the general population: The study, published in October in Oxford's Annals of Oncology , found that men with just one of these factors — either having oral sex with multiple partners or being a smoker — still had an elevated risk of having HPV-OPC, 7. The study says having partners is less risky.
A recent study published in the Annals of Oncology painted a grim picture for men who had five or more partners with whom they engage in oral sex. These men were shown to have the highest risk of developing a type of head and neck cancer oropharyngeal cancer that is triggered by exposure to the human papilloma virus — known as HPV. While risk of infection among men is high, actually having it develop into cancer is still low. The risk was much lower among women, anyone who did not smoke, and people who had less than five oral sex partners in their lifetimes.