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head and neck cancer

Head and Neck Cancer : Does Oral Sex Increases the Chances?

Cancer is a killer disease that has existed along the centuries. Thanks to the latest researches and the current breakthroughs made in the treatment of the terminal disease, patients can be saved from utmost miseries resulting from it. Along with the modern treatment technology, spreading cancer awareness itself is an effective way to fight this disease.

Oropharyngeal cancer and oral sex

In this context, it is relevant to mention that experts from a renowned GUM clinic that specialises in sexual health in London, bring forth this latest study report. According to this report, oral sex increases the chances of head and neck cancer in men. However, this risk level is still low; hardly 0.7 per cent of men are likely to develop oropharyngeal cancer in all their life. It is to be noted that the chances or possibility was found to be even lower for women, non-smokers and even those, who have less than five partners to have regular sex with.

This study throws light over an ally that was under absolute darkness ever since. Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of oropharyngeal cancer all over the world, including Europe. Thousands of such cases are registered every year and the majority of them are found to be HPV-related.

Different HPV types

There are over 100 different varieties of HPVs that are known to exist. Out of these, only a handful are known to cause the deadly disease. For example, HPV 16 or 18 are known to cause cervical cancer, whereas HPV 16 is known to trigger the cases of oropharyngeal cancer. Visiting an STD clinic will further help you get a clearer picture on this.

Cancer specialists are of the opinion that by 2020, the occurrances of oropharyngeal cancer will overtake the cervical cancer cases. In this backdrop, the study report mentioned above proves helpful. It will not only help to identify but also spread awareness among healthy people, who are at the maximum risk to develop  oropharyngeal cancer. Under the light of the report, effective screening strategies and screening test procedures for oropharyngeal cancer can also be developed in near future. It may be mentioned here, as of now, there’s no screening procedure for  oropharyngeal cancer.

The highs and lows

One thing is clear from the study report, regardless of how many oral sex partners a woman may have, cases of oral infection with cancer-causing HPV are strikingly rare among them.

Smoking and cancer compliment each other and the study has only re-established this fact. The maximum cases of being infected with this type of cancer are among men who smoke and have 5 or more oral sex partners. This figure turned out to be 15%. Whereas, men, who are not regular smokers and have five or more oral sex partners,  register 7.4% of oral HPV infection cases.

There’s nothing to deny the fact that oropharyngeal cancer is a rare type of cancer. The researches conducted so far, just give us an idea about the tip of the iceberg. There’s need to conduct more studies on it to get more details. Till then, a little lifestyle control and consciousness may help to get going. You may also search for a sexual health clinic near you and get more details about its prevention from the experts there.

 25 Oct 2017

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