October 4, 2011

Cancer From Oral Sex Rapidly Increasing

Robert Langreth, Bloomberg


AP Photo

A virus spread by oral sex may cause more cases of throat cancer in men than smoking, a finding that spurred calls for a new large-scale test of a drug used against the infection.

Researchers examined 271 throat-tumor samples collected over 20 years ending in 2004 and found that the percentage of oral cancer linked to the human papillomavirus, or HPV, surged to 72 percent from about 16 percent, according to a report released yesterday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. By 2020, the virus-linked throat tumors -- which mostly affected men -- will become more common than HPV-caused cervical cancer, the report found.

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TAGGED: Smoking, Human Papillomavirus, Cancer, Oral Sex