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Oral sex increases risk of throat cancer:

 1 Blue Ninja 0, Mon, 21st Feb '11 2:19:40 PM from The Middle of Nowhere Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Slowly dying on the inside
So much for safer sex.

Here's a crucial message for teens: Oral sex carries many of the same risks as vaginal sex, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of oral cancers in America in people under age 50.

"Adolescents don’t think oral sex is something to worry about, " said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 'sex.'"

Halpern-Felsher and other researchers presented the latest information about the risks of contracting an HPV infection Sunday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.

The latest data suggest that 64% of oropharynx cancers - growing in the middle part of the throat - in the United States are caused by HPV, which is more than tobacco causes, said Maura Gillison of Ohio State University. And as the number of partners on whom you have performed oral sex goes up, the risk of oropharnyx cancer goes up.

About 37, 000 people per year receive a diagnosis of oral cancer, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Just about everyone has had at least one of the 130 strains of HPV. The vaccines currently available, Gardasil and Cervarix, only protect against a few of them. But not all of the strains are cancer-causing. Certain types cause warts on the hands and feet that are benign.

About 5% of cancers worldwide are caused by HPV, and some turn up in some surprising places. A University of Washington study found that some men carry HPV 26 under their fingernails, which can lead to a form of cancer called digital squamous cell carcinoma. Proper hand-washing can help prevent this from happening, said Dr. Diane Harper, leading HPV researcher at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

But this isn't nearly as common as HPV causing cancer in other areas of the body, such as the oral cavity and the cervix.

In the countries that have cervical cancer screening, the prevalence of cervical cancer is five times lower than in other countries, indicating that the testing is effective, Harper said.

Why HPV causes cancer in some people and not others is still mysterious. Studies of the cervix have found that 70% of infections resolve by themselves within one year, and 90% within two years. It's that remaining 10% that actually turn into more serious infections, and 5% lead to treatable precancerous lesions, Harper said.

Two well-established mechanisms of prevention in terms of sexually transmitted HPV are condom usage and circumcision, although neither completely eliminates the risk, Harper said.

A large ongoing study called HITCH is examining questions of HPV transmission and infection in greater detail. So far, it's found that couples can "ping-pong" HPV back and forth to each other, which is one reason that the virus may take so long to clear naturally.

As for getting HPV from kissing, that's not clear, and there isn't enough data to say anything about it yet, Harper said.

It's very hard to get teens to listen to abstinence messages about oral sex, or to get them to use any kind of barrier method for these behaviors, Halpern-Felsher said. And since any risk factor under 50% sounds low to a very young person, throwing these precise statistics at them most likely won't make a difference.

But parents should have honest conversations with their teenagers about oral sex, Halpern-Felsher said. Tell them that the consequences of HPV may not happen right away, and while the risks may not be huge, they are significant. Potential long-term outcomes of cancer are quite concerning.
Once the avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to cast their vote. - Ambassador Kosh
 2 Grain, Mon, 21st Feb '11 2:31:11 PM from South Northwest Earth
Only One Avatar
A virus increases the risk of throat cancer, not oral sex itself. That's what I got out of reading the article.

If you're with a virus-free person, or you've gotten a vaccine, oral sex is fine. This thread's title is misleading.

edited 21st Feb '11 2:48:08 PM by Grain

 3 Drunk Girlfriend, Mon, 21st Feb '11 2:33:58 PM from Castle Geekhaven
Later in the news today: Living results in death.

Give me a break.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 4 Pykrete, Mon, 21st Feb '11 2:46:25 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
If you're with a virus-free person, or you've gotten a vaccine, oral sex is fine.

HPV is one of those viruses that pretty much everyone carries in some form or other, but it's true the article doesn't really mention much in the way of relevant numbers for the ones we actually give a damn about. I'm turning up about 3.5% of test subjects carrying a carcinogenic and orally transmissible HPV strain.

Also, vaccines do a questionable amount against type 16, which is one of the ones in question. It only helps prevent initial infection, but won't curb one that's already there.

edited 21st Feb '11 4:06:34 PM by Pykrete

 5 Kino, Mon, 21st Feb '11 2:47:59 PM from NC/NYC Relationship Status: 700 wives and 300 concubines
Connoisseur of redheads
Doctor Manhattan jokes in 3, 2, 1...mark.

edited 21st Feb '11 2:48:06 PM by Kino

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
 6 Barkey, Mon, 21st Feb '11 3:04:32 PM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
In tonights news, the war against tobacco has now turned its eyes on becoming the war against oral sex! More at 11.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
Over 10,000 dead.:<
Yeah, take that people who have sex!

...Sorry. Couldn't resist.
Genkidama for Japan, even if you don't have money, you can help![1]
 8 Linhasxoc, Mon, 21st Feb '11 3:30:27 PM from Flanoir Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
Wow. Infections you can get from getting someone else's bodily fluids in your genitals can also be gotten by getting said bodily fluids in your mouth!

Seriously, people need to be told this?

 9 del diablo, Mon, 21st Feb '11 4:01:06 PM from Somewher in mid Norway
Den harde nordmann
[up]: No :P
A guy called dvorak is tired. Tired of humanity not wanting to change to improve itself. Quite the sad tale.
 10 Drunk Girlfriend, Mon, 21st Feb '11 4:06:47 PM from Castle Geekhaven
Not only that, but there's only a 5% chance it'll turn into the treatable precursor to cancer!

Oh, and according to That Other Wiki:

Oral infection
A review of scientific studies in healthy subjects has found carcinogenic HPV in 3.5% of the studies subjects and HPV 16 in 1.3%.[80] Men have higher prevalence of oral HPV than women.[28]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_papillomavirus#Oral_infection

edited 21st Feb '11 4:07:08 PM by DrunkGirlfriend

"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 11 Pykrete, Mon, 21st Feb '11 4:07:34 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
treatable precursor

I think that's the key point that really needs to be stressed there tongue

 12 Commando Dude, Mon, 21st Feb '11 5:13:25 PM from Cauhlefohrnia
They see me troll'n
What is there that doesn't cause cancer?

I still remember the craze about cellphones melting brains.
I share Linhasxoc's view.
Currently taking a break from the site. See my user page for more information.
 14 Balloon Fleet, Mon, 21st Feb '11 5:27:25 PM from Chicago, IL, USA
MASTER-DEBATER
Well we're all getting cancer of the mouth [lol]
WHASSUP.......

....with lolis!
 15 drunkscriblerian, Mon, 21st Feb '11 5:29:12 PM from Castle Geekhaven Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
In tonights news, the war against tobacco has now turned its eyes on becoming the war against oral sex! More at 11.

They seem to dislike us putting things in our mouths. :D

So, if I go down on a girl while smoking a cigarette, I guess that doubles the risk?

For serious, fuck these studies. As has been stated, living is hazardous to one's health, and no one gets out alive. For this one, the article fails to mention a couple of key points...

  • 1: You can get tested for HPV, just like any other virus. They don't normally include it in an STD screening but you can ask for it. I do, every time. Guess what? I (the resident Ethical Slut) don't have HPV.
  • 2: As others have stated, the strain that causes cancer is pretty damn rare, and even then it doesn't "cause" cancer, merely increases the risk. And since people can get cancer anyway, I fail to see how this should change anyone's mind about oral sex one way or the other except to get tested more often.

Scare tactics. Fuck 'em.
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
 16 Pykrete, Mon, 21st Feb '11 5:38:03 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
Depending on how easily it transmits and how many partners you have, 3.5% can potentially be really significant. I mean if you're the type to go to a frat party every other weekend and blow 10+ people apiece (I'm sure it's happened -_-)...

 17 Loni Jay, Mon, 21st Feb '11 5:43:33 PM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
I can't say I'm surprised... any type of sex in which bodily fluid is exchanged has the potential for disease. I think it's kind of wierd that oral sex is considered a 'safer' option.
Be not afraid...
 18 Drunk Girlfriend, Mon, 21st Feb '11 6:07:59 PM from Castle Geekhaven
@Pykrete: Yeah, but lets look at the other numbers too.

3.5% of people have it. Of the people that get it 90% of it is gone within two years. The remaining 10% wind up as infections, and 5% of those turn into treatable precancerous lesions.

I'm bad at math here, so exactly what is the risk? It doesn't really look like much to me.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 19 Rottweiler, Mon, 21st Feb '11 6:19:34 PM from Portland, Oregon
Dog and Pony Show
ITT: Studies showing risks from promiscuity raise skepticism.

So tempted to find a study claiming promiscuity is healthy, for reaction comparison...
“Love is the eternal law whereby the universe was created and is ruled.” — St. Bernard
 20 Pykrete, Mon, 21st Feb '11 6:22:51 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
Depends on how many people that 3.5% have sexual contact with and how readily it infects. Thing about transmissible diseases is that overall statistics don't really reflect a local outbreak.

Also, 5% of 3.5% is still almost 1:500 people that end up with said lesion.

 21 Drunk Girlfriend, Mon, 21st Feb '11 6:38:29 PM from Castle Geekhaven
[up] Is it 5% of the 3.5%? Or is it 10% of the 3.5%, then 5% of that?
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 22 Pykrete, Mon, 21st Feb '11 6:53:49 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
I don't think it was entirely clear on that, really.

 23 Drunk Girlfriend, Mon, 21st Feb '11 6:55:59 PM from Castle Geekhaven
Hooray for sensationalism in the media, amirite?
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 24 Pykrete, Mon, 21st Feb '11 7:08:27 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
That may or may not be sensationalism depending on which they meant. What it is is poor wording.

ITT: Studies showing risks from promiscuity raise skepticism.

So tempted to find a study claiming promiscuity is healthy, for reaction comparison...

Well, Rotty, it doesn't seem so much to be scepticism as a statement of "Well, duh".

I have no problem believing this story, that oral sex could lead to higher rates of throat cancer due to viruses such as HPV. S'why the vaccine for that needs to be more widely applied.

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