Oral Sex Leading Cause of Teen Mouth Cancer


Oral Cancer

Apparently those messages for teens not to bump nasties has taken root.  Bad news? Oral cancer from oral sex is up. Good news? You probably won’t die from oral cancer as quickly as cancer from tobacco.

NPR reports the findings of Dr. Maura Gillson of Ohio State University.  It is now the human papillomavirus (HPV) that is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer (67% of all oropharyngeal cancers), and the more oral sex one has, and the more partners one has, the greater the risk of getting these cancers, which tend to grow in the middle of the throat.

“An individual who has six or more lifetime partners — on whom they’ve performed oral sex – has an eightfold increase in risk compared to someone who has never performed oral sex,”

Gillison also reported that  “every birth cohort appears to be at greater risk from HPV and oral cancers than the group born before them.” And indeed, Swedish researchers undertook longitudinal studies of HPV related oral cancers and found that between 1970 and 2005, the HPV was responsible for 23 percent in 1970 until 2005 when it accounted for 93 percent.

Parents need to talk to children about the dangers of oral sex… putting the fear of cancer may drive them back to self-pleasuring.

Gillison reported that currently the highest percentage of mouth and throat cancers is among young, white men, but the reason for that is not known. Perhaps men should also be vaccinated against HPV?

Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco studied 600 adolescents over 10 years and found that oral sex is much more common than vaginal sex, noting

“teens don’t consider oral sex to be sex. Parents and health educators are not talking to teens about oral sex. Period.”

sources: NPR via CBSnews.com, Oral Cancer Foundation

Image: cancerinstitute.org.au

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