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May 9, 2007

Oral Sex May Increase Risk Oropharyngeal Cancer

Topics: Medical Science News

hpv_380.jpgResearchers at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, who studied 100 men and women newly diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer and 200 healthy people, have found that a common strain of HPV - HPV 16 - was present in 72 percent of tumours. According to the paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study is the first to prove the link between the human HPV - the leading cause of cervical cancer - and oropharyngeal cancer.

Patients whose blood or saliva samples indicated that they had prior HPV infection were 32 times more likely to develop oropharnygeal cancer, which affects the throat, tonsils and back of the tongue.

And those people who had had more than six oral sex partners were 8,6 times more likely to develop the HPV-linked cancer.

The figures establish HPV infection as the greatest risk factor for this type of cancer, overturning previous theories blaming a pack-a-day smoking habit for 20 years, or regular heavy alcohol consumption over 15 years.

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Posted by Richard at May 9, 2007 10:17 PM

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