‘One possible cause’
HPV is a virus that’s transmitted through sexual contact — genital or oral. There are more than 40 types, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and approximately 79 million Americans are currently infected. Most people have no symptoms.
“HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives,” the CDC’s states. “In most cases, the virus goes away and it does not lead to any health problems. There is no certain way to know which people infected with HPV will go on to develop cancer.”
Douglas’ publicist told CNN that the actor did not intend to point to HPV as the sole cause of his throat cancer, but was suggesting it as one possible cause. Did oral sex bring about Michael Douglas’ cancer diagnosis? Not exactly.
HPV is thought to cause 1,700 oropharyngeal, or throat, cancers in women and 6,700 oropharyngeal cancers in men each year, according to the CDC. Tobacco and alcohol use may play a role in who develops cancer from the virus, the government agency notes. The virus is transmissible regardless of whether the sexual contact is heterosexual or homosexual.
HPV has also been linked to cervical cancer, penile cancer and anal cancer, according to the CDC. The HPV vaccine prevents the most common types of the virus. There are two approved for use in the United States: Gardasil and Cervarix.
Of course, HPV is not the only danger of having unprotected oral sex. Sexually transmitted diseases like herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea and HIV can be also be spread through the act. To stay safe, the CDC recommends always using a condom and getting tested regularly.
Do you believe oral sex can indeed lead to cancer? Feel free to throw in your thoughts regarding this health issue!
Source: Jacque Wilson, CNN