New research has found that practicing 0ral s3x can dramatically increase your risk of developing throat cancer by as much as 22 times.
People traditionally view throat cancer as a disease that affects smokers and heavy drinkers in later life but over recent years, as cases have been rising, it has been linked with the common virus HPV (human papillomavirus)-16 that causes cancer.
HPV (human papillomavirus)-16 is spread by skin-to-skin contact, s3x. It is thought that performing 0ral s3x is the most likely way the HPV virus – usually associated with cervical cancer – is spread to the mouth.
Michael Douglas, star of Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction, claimed HPV was the cause of his almost-fatal cancer diagnosis in August 2010. He beat the odds by recovering from a stage four tumour, which is often terminal.
The new study, published in JAMA Oncology, is the first to show conclusively HPV-16’s presence in the mouth leads to the development of oropharyngeal cancer, the type that affected Douglas.
HPV-16 is a well-known cause of ‘oropharyngeal’ tumours which affect the middle part of the throat including the soft palate, the base of the tongue and the tonsils.
The new finding was based on a study of almost 97,000 people who had traces HPV-16 in their mouth.
They were cancer free at the start of the project and were followed for an average of four years, during which time a total of 132 cases of head and neck cancer were identified.
This was compared with 396 healthy subjects who acted as controls, with mouthwash samples analysed for the presence of several types of oral HPVs in both groups.
This showed people with HPV-16 in their mouthwash were 22 times more likely to develop oropharyngeal cancer than were those with no detectable trace of the virus HPV-16.
Oral tumours have been on the increase for about thirty years. It is one of the fastest rising cancers in the UK, now affecting around 5,000 people each year.
One of the largest studies of its kind found people who had more than six 0ral s3x partners, or more than 26 v*ginal s3x partners, in their lifetime had an increased risk of 0ral cancer, MirrorUK reports.