Can oral sex can cause oral cancer?

It’s very admirable for Michael Douglas, 68, to step up and speak out about what he believes caused his throat cancer—a battle he had been fighting for six months. It’s not something anyone would be proud of admitting to the world--that the cancer was due to indiscreet oral sex he performed on women. Apparently the popular belief that oral sex is risk free is proving to be incorrect.

Can oral sex can cause oral cancer?

Yes, this is the culprit for 99% of cervical cancer cases and 72% of oral cancers. So most men think that they are safe from this—think again. Michael Douglas shared that his cancer was caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) based on a post on The Guardian.

UK Cancer research has shown that there is a rise in HPV cases that can possibly be linked to oral sex. Stepping up to stats by the World Health Organization, we learn that HPV is linked to 5% of cancers in the world.

In an interview with the Guardian, the Hollywood star had been more than candid that his “marathon” sessions could be blamed rather than smoking, drinking and stress.

He unabashedly shared: “Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”

If you thought you heard wrong, he ventured further in the interview: "From cunnilingus. I mean, I did worry if the stress caused by my son's incarceration didn't help trigger it. But yeah, it's a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer. And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it." 

Michael Douglas: Oral sex and oral cancer (Medical perspective)

Michael Douglas was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer and had to undergo an intense treatment of radiation and chemo. He is in the clear now. The actor said: “With this kind of cancer, 95% of the time it doesn't come back.”

Is there such a thing for our sons—to help prevent them from getting a cancerous strain of HPV? Indeed there is, according to a news report by the Daily Mail. Professor Margaret Stanley of Cambridge University suggests that boys should have the HPV Vaccine too—not just young girls.

This is to prevent them from getting tumours in the tongue, tonsils, head or neck among other cancers. Professor Stanley said: “Obviously cervical cancer is the big one but in Europe and the United States and Australia, places that have got cervical cancer screening programmes, cervical cancer is very well controlled.”

She added: “But the other cancers - cancers of the anus and increasingly the tonsil and tongue - there is no screening for them and no way of detecting them until they are proper cancers and they are more common in men than in women.”

Dr Helaine Smith, an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist said in an interview with Hollywood Health News TV: "So many teens are coming up with oral cancer because of the HPV virus and many men in their 30s, 40s and 50s also presenting with oral cancer because of the HPV-16 virus. This disease can be easily prevented with a vaccine, so we could eradicate this deadly form of virus."

Dr Tara Allman, a gynecologist interviewed on Fox News said:"His [Michael Douglas] exposure to the HPV virus was many, many years before the presentation."

Meaning you could be exposed 10-15 years earlier through oral sex with a partner who has it before the cancer manifests into potential throat cancer. More on this--watch the video below.

Dr Allman added: "There are more than 40 strains of HPV but the two terrible ones are number 16 and 18 and the vaccination works against those strains from affecting you."

We suggest you consult your doctor for more advise on the matter. Fathers, if you have a persisting sore throat for more than a month please check it out to make sure it is not just tonsillitis.

Published with the permission of theAsianparent Singapore

This article was first published on AfricaParent.com

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