Do you believe oral sex, an immensely pleasurable act can play role in developing cancer. Does oral sex really cause cancer? Well the answer YES but HOW? So comes the relationship between oral sex, HPV and cancer which has been receiving more attention these days. The culprit is human papilloma virus (HPV) which is transmitted from one person to another during oral sex. The likelihood of contracting oral HPV is directly associated with number of sexual partners a person has had.
There are hundreds of types of HPV, some of which causes just harmless common warts while other causes genital warts (HPV type 6 and 11, transmitted sexually) and few cause genital cancer and oral cancer (HPV-16, 18, 31, and 45). Human papilloma virus is very common and is estimated that every sexually active individuals at some point in their lives will get at least one type of HPV. In most cases, individual will never know he/she has virus and the virus goes away on its own and does not lead to any health issues. However, few strain of virus has potential of causing cancer in individuals that includes cervical cancer, penis cancer, anal cancer and oral cancer.
In the past most of the cases of oral cancers were associated with chronic smoking and alcohol abuse. Today, the cases of oral cancer due to HPV are rising and experts predict that HPV may overtake tobacco and alcohol as a leading cause of oral cancer. After the initial infection with cancer causing HPV, it may take several years to develop oral cancer. But it is still unclear whether HPV alone causes oral cancer or other factors like smoking and alcohol that triggers HPV to cause oral cancer.
Symptoms of oral cancer
Although some individuals may not have any signs and symptoms, few common symptoms of oral cancer may include the following:
Hoarseness of voice
Pain when swallowing
Unexplained weight loss
Enlarged lymph nodes
Sore or ulcer in mouth or tongue that doesn’t heal
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