Oral sex no longer can be considered to be safe sex

Oral sex no longer can be considered to be safe sex. “With 6,000 cases per year [in the US, and rising at 10 per cent, annully] in men younger than 60, …HPV-linked throat cancers could overtake cervical cancer in the next decade.”

The Age [Australia]
10 June 2008

Oral sex blamed for throat cancer rise

CHICAGO – For five gruelling months in 2006 and 2007, Carol Kanga suffered through treatment for a life-threatening case of throat cancer linked to an unlikely source: a sexually transmitted viral infection.

Unable to swallow food or water during chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Kanga was fed through a stomach tube. Her one respite came on Thanksgiving, when she savoured a single spoonful of weak broth.

“The radiation basically burns the skin off the outside and inside of your throat,” said Kanga, 52. “It’s like there’s a fire inside your neck.”

Kanga’s treatment was successful, but the virus that struck her is causing increasing concern among some researchers who think it is causing a small-scale epidemic of throat cancer.

That virus, scientists have proved only in the last two years, is human papillomavirus, or HPV – the same virus that’s behind most cases of cervical cancer.

With 6,000 cases per year and an annual increase of up to 10 per cent in men younger than 60, some researchers say the HPV-linked throat cancers could overtake cervical cancer in the next decade.

“It’s almost a new disease, in a sense,” said Dr Ezra Cohen, an oncologist at the University of Chicago Medical Centre. “It’s now becoming a dominant sub-type of the disease that we see in our clinic.”

The HPV infections likely took root decades ago as the Baby Boomers were reaching adulthood, and only now are spurring a rise in throat cancer cases, mostly among men and women in their 50s….Full Story) (Note 2018 06 14: That link is broken. Here is one to another copy of the article that works.)

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