Oral Sex Increases Oral Cancer Risk by 80%

Oral Sex Increases Oral Cancer Risk by 80%

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that people who engage in oral sex have an 80% higher risk of developing mouth and throat (oropharyngeal) cancers. The risk was particularly high for those who first had oral sex before age 18 and for those who had multiple oral sex partners. Like sexual intercourse, oral sex can transmit the human papillomavirus (HPV). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV infection is responsible for 70% of all oropharyngeal cancer cases. For more on how number of lifetime sexual partners affects health, read “People With 10-Plus Lifetime Sexual Partners More Likely to Develop Cancer.” And to learn more about how HPV vaccination can reduce oropharyngeal cancer risk, read “FDA Approves HPV Vaccine for Prevention of Oral Cancer.”

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