Can Oral Sex Increase risks of head and neck cancer?


new study published in Annals of Oncology shows that men who are highly into oral sex could increase their risk of head and neck cancer, the highest risk category being men who smoke and have a high number of oral sex partners.
However the study reviels that HPV-related oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer among men has doubled over the last 20 years. Study author Dr Amber D'Souza, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said: “Most people perform oral sex in their lives, and we found that oral infection with cancer-causing HPV was rare among women regardless of how many oral sex partners they had. Among men who did not smoke, cancer-causing oral HPV was rare among everyone who had less than five oral sex partners, although the chances of having oral HPV infection did increase with number of oral sexual partners, and with smoking."
"Currently there are no tests that could be used for screening people for oropharyngeal cancer," said co-author Dr Carole Fakhry, an associate professor from Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology, in a statement. "It is a rare cancer and for most healthy people the harms of screening for it would outweigh the benefits because of the problem of false positive test results and consequent anxiety.”
“Our research shows that identifying those who have oral HPV infection does not predict their future risk of cancer well, and so screening based on detecting cancer-causing oral HPV infection would be challenging," Fakhry added. "However, we are carrying out further research of oral HPV infection in young healthy men to explore this further."
Richard Shaw, a Cancer Research UK scientist from the University of Liverpool was thinking on vaccinating not only young girls, but boys too. He also added that “along with vaccinating against HPV, helping people to quit smoking and cut down on alcohol are important.”