Can Oral Sex Cause Cancer?

    Microscopic view of an hpv virus

    Can oral sex really cause throat cancer? What is throat cancer…and how is it related to HPV?

    Cancer death rates continue to decline, according to the American Cancer Society. But cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection most well known for causing genital warts and cervical cancer, is still largely a cause for concern. Recent reports have shown a rise in both oral and anal cancer caused by HPV in both women and men.

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    Oral infections of human papillomavirus, or HPV, affect nearly 7% of Americans, affecting three times as many men (10%) as women (3.6%).

    In fact, HPV is now a more common cause of throat and other oral cancers than tobacco.

    What is HPV?

    Genital human papillomavirus, or HPV, is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There are more than 40 types of HPV that can infect the genital areas of males and females. These HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat.

    HPV can cause serious health problems, including genital warts and certain cancers, particularly cervical cancer and throat cancer. There is no certain way to tell who will develop health problems from HPV and who will not. In most cases HPV goes away by itself before it causes any health problems, and most people who become infected with HPV do not even know they have it.

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