Advisory: Can Oral Sex Cause Throat Cancer?

| April 30, 2010 | 0 Comments

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In an era of HIV and chastity rings, teenagers and young adults – roughly 75% of them – have turned to oral sex as a “less risky” option. But it’s not safe sex. And while it won’t get you pregnant, it can still get you into big trouble.


For the first time ever, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have established a link between oral sex, the human papillomavirus (the same virus that causes cervical cancer) and throat cancer. That adds to a roster of risks already tied to oral sex: herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, and HIV…

This is scary news for the rising numbers of young people choosing oral sex over intercourse.

One Johns Hopkins professor notes that since 1990, the percentage of male patients at his clinic alone who have had oral sex has risen from 50% to about 75%; for women and girls, from 25% to about 75%.

That’s a huge number exposing themselves to this cancer risk, among other sexually transmitted diseases.

Relatively uncommon, throat cancer is usually associated with smoking and alcohol.

The type linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV) afflicts roughly 11,000 Americans each year, about the same number of new cervical cancer cases.

Throat cancer typically involves the base of the tongue, the tonsils, or the back of the throat.

Because it is so rare among people who don’t drink or smoke, the symptoms – sore throat, swollen glands, or a cold sore – are easy to dismiss, delaying diagnosis and treatment.

 

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Hip Hop Historian and accomplished photo journalist

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