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Although the human papillomavirus is commonly considered to be the leading cause of cervical cancer, a study conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine has found that orally transmitted HPV may lead to throat, neck and head cancer.
The strain of HPV that poses the highest risk towards cancer onset is the HPV-16. The chance increase is of almost 22 times in comparison to those that do not have the virus. Because this virus is extremely common in people, even if most immune systems effectively fight it off, the results of this study are rather dire for those that enjoy cunnilingus, because oral sex is the most effective way of transmitting HPV-16.
HPV, in general, affects the mucous tissue present in the linings of you throat, mouth, cervix, and anus. It can be transmitted through sexual intercourse or oral sex, but it can also be passed through skin-on-skin contact.
The research was conducted on over 95,000 cancer-free patients that participated in the Cancer Prevention Study conducted by the American Cancer Society. Study participants were tasked with supplying mouthwash samples and undergo follow-up checks over the course of roughly 4 years.
Out of the study group, the 132 participants that developed neck or head cancer were compared to 396 healthy subjects. Besides the result that states how HPV-16 increases the risk towards oropharyngeal cancer by 22 times, researchers have claimed that beta-HPV and gamma-HPV could be capable of posing a risk towards the development of cancer as well.
This finding could be used as a reason to why there is a current increase in oral cancer diagnostics. The study’s results are also backed by a neck surgeon from London, dr. Mahesh Kumar who stated that out of the 1,316 patients diagnosed with oral cancer, 56% of them also were infected with HPV-16.
Fortunately, HPV can be easily combated through the use of a vaccine. Even if vaccine use is still somewhat criticized in the US, the results of this study may make more people opt for this type of treatment in order to circumvent the increase in risk towards cancer development.
Bearing in mind the alleged fact that orally transmitted HPV may lead to throat, neck and head cancer, the general public should seriously consider opting for anti-HPV vaccination as soon as possible. Hopefully by doing this, the hefty increase in oral cancer diagnostics will be somewhat lowered.