Can Oral Sex cause Oral Cancer ???
It could be shocking, truly shocking. But let’s face it. A recent study has confirmed that oral sex can lead to cancer in the mouth and throat.
So far, oral cancer was predominantly linked to drinking alcohol, smoking cigarette and chewing tobacco. But there is a growing proof that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a virus found in genital region could also play a part in leading to cancer.
Some types of oral cancer are linked to human papilloma virus (HPV) infection in the mouth and throat. It should be noted that HPV doesn’t directly cause cancer, whereas it changes the cells and then those cells turn cancerous. The virus triggers those cells to grow into cancer. Not all those infected with HPV develop cancer, in 90% of the cases the body clears itself from HPV naturally within few months.
It is identified that there are more than 100 types of HPV available, out of which 15 are considered to be among those that can cause cancer. The types of HPV that are found in the mouth are those that are entirely transmitted through sex particularly through oral sex. A recent survey in UK conducted among sexually active men in the age group of 25 identified that 90% of the men surveyed are exposed to some form of HPV, be it high risk or low risk. However, only 3% seem to have developed visible symptoms of genital warts.
The incidence of HPV infection found to be high among men who have number of sexual partners. Men with more than 20 partners had more incidences of developing full blown HPV infection compared to those with fewer partners.
The occurrence seems to be uniform across men and women. Whether men performing oral sex to women or vice versa, the chances of getting HPV infection is just the same for both men and women. The moist layer of skin in the genitals of both men and women are susceptible to carry HPV viruses and these are likely to cause infections.
Well! It is understood that we have to be careful with oral sex. What to do to prevent this? Is there a safe oral sexual method?
One way is to get HPV vaccination. Both men and women can have protection against the HPV virus by having HPV vaccination.
But there is a simpler way to fight HPV virus and still enjoy Oral sex. Yes! Using condom is the simplest way to safeguard yourself against HPV virus and yet enjoy unhindered oral sex. Condoms act as a barrier between the mouth and the soft tissues of penis. Similarly woman can use a Dental Dam (a square sized thin soft latex sheet) in their genitals to protect men from getting infected from HPV virus lying in the soft tissues of the vaginal layer.
Several studies have confirmed that oral sex enhances intimacy and thus there is no need to stop it when we have condoms in different variants and flavours. Make sure you use flavoured condom next time to enjoy heightened sexual experience be it physical or oral sex.