Oral sex risks throat cancer
Oral sex has been cited as one of the major causes of oral cancer and cancer of the throat (cancer of the oropharynx). There are three key factors that determine the risk of developing cancer in those who regularly engage in oral sex:
- Number of sexual partners;
Based on these factors, scientists indicate that men who smoke regularly and have had more than 5 sexual partners during their lifetime are most at risk for oral or throat cancer.
The cause of the development of these two forms of cancer is the infection of the so-called. human papillomavirus (HPV). It occurs in dozens of different strains, and the HPV16 strain in particular is associated with more than 70% of oropharyngeal cancers.
The most common and fastest way to become infected with dangerous strains of the human papillomavirus is oral sex. The toxins contained in cigarette smoke and their total effect on the mucous membrane of the oral cavity and respiratory organs have a beneficial effect on the development of papillomaviruses and contribute to the initiation of an infection, which in later stages can develop into cancer.
Statistics show that about 40% of people are carriers of the human papillomavirus, and at least 80% of the rest become infected with it at one stage or another of their lives. And while only about 0.7% of those infected develop throat cancer, the number of people diagnosed with the disease has tripled in the past 20 years. And most of them are actually men. In addition, by 2020, the number of cases of oral and throat cancer in men is expected to exceed the number of cases of cervical cancer in women, another form of cancer caused by the human papillomavirus.
Currently, there is no safe method for the early diagnosis of oropharyngeal cancer or the prevention of its development in men who regularly practice oral sex.
As the main and most accessible preventive measure, in this case, experts call smoking cessation. Studies show that for the same frequency of oral sex, the risk of cancer of the mouth or throat in non-smokers is half that of men who smoke.