HPV, or the Human Papillomavirus, has been shown to be associated with cervical cancer, a STD fact. Actor Michael Douglas, recently announced that he was recovering from a type of throat cancer that may have been associated with HPV. Naturally, this site decided to to search for the scientific fact behind this statement and found the following upto date information of oral cancer from HPV. The Centers of Disease Control says that each year in the U.S., HPV is thought to cause an estimated
1,700 oropharyngeal cancers in women,* and
6,700 oropharyngeal cancers in men.*
*Note: Other factors, notably tobacco and alcohol use, may also play a role with HPV to cause these cancers. Oropharyngeal cancer means throat cancer.
Role of HPV.
Researchers have been trying for some time to find a definite association between throat cancer and HPV. There is a no doubt that carcinogens like cigarette smoking and tobacco increase the rates of throat cancer. Throat cancer can be deadly.The FDA has recently approved the HPV vaccine in males ages 9-26 years of age. This vaccine has already been approved for young females. Researchers claim that in men, this vaccine is only effective before the male has had sex and been exposed to HPV. Also, men are more susceptible to oral cancer than women and more likely to die from oral cancer than women. In addition, multiple partners or promiscuity is associated with oral cancer. However, although females may die from throat cancer, females are less likely to get oral cancer, while males who have sex with males are most vulnerable to oral cancer.
Each year, roughly 30,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 8,000 people die from the disease. Studies suggest that 15% to 25% of oropharyngeal cancer cases are associated with HPV16, a particular type of HPV. Oral cancer forms in the oral cavity, which includes the lip, tongue, and hard palate; and the oral pharynx, which includes the soft palate, base of the tongue, and tonsils. Thus far, the HPV-related cancers are found in the tonsil area. Survival of oral cancer has not improved in 30 years. Decades may pass between HPV infection and oral cancer development.
In one scenario, a man can have one young wife dead from throat cancer; remarry and can have a second young wife dead from throat cancer. Both dying young. Would you say this man is the cause of both his wives dying from throat cancer? Did this man have something which caused the death of both his wives by the very same disease – throat cancer, while he showed no obvious external symptoms, and lived a long healthy life? It does say one thing: throat cancer can kill women. It kills swiftly. However, since this man or his wives did not provide any diseased human material to be tested, there is no way to know definitively what common factor existed in this family’s destruction from throat cancer. Knowing this (real case) scenario, would you allow someone you care for to have sex with this man? Would you ever lick the same icecream cone this one licked?
What should you do if you have knowledge or suspect someone you care for is having oral sex
As you can imagine, there is a search for a vaccine that might cure throat cancer, but it is still several years away. You might suggest typical safe sex advise such as: that scientists advise wearing condoms can prevent this disease. Then, you might make them aware of articles such as this one on this topic in particular. Below, are a few more articles which this site feels cover the subject of oral sex, oral cancer and HPV with gravity and scientific facts.
Scientific articles supporting this discussion
1. An excellent article in 2003, by Jeanne Erdmann in the Oxford Journal of Cancer Research, which discusses in more detail the knowledge of throat cancer and the search for a preventive vaccine. It credits Stina Syrjänen, Ph.D., D.D.S., of the Turku-HPV group in Finland in 1983 for the first observations and connections between cervical cancer and oral cancer. It is interesting that a dentist may be the first line of diagnosis in this potentially deadly disease. Article #1
physicians are reporting an increase in the disease in patients with little or no history of smoking or drinking. Some of these cancers contain the human papillomavirus (HPV), most especially HPV16, a sexually transmitted member of the papillomavirus family linked to about half of all cases of cervical cancer…
the oral cancer field lags behind that of cervical cancer. Scientists still do not fully understand the natural history of the disease and the transmission routes of HPV and oral cancer. For example, HPV16 is found in pre-cancerous lesions in the cervix, but rarely in oral dysplasia, a precursor to oral cancer
2. Mayo clinic’s James M. Steckelberg, M.D., answers a query about “…does HPV infection increase cancer risk in men?” in this article #2. The short answer is yes, but the specific risks are different the doctor explains further about the high risk HPVs and advocates Gardasil for prevention.
3. An article by Adina Nack PhD on June 4, 2013 on “MICHAEL DOUGLAS’ CANCER CONFESSION: THE RISK OF HPV AND ORAL SEX”. The focus is on educating men about their cancer risk from HPV, and on removing the STD stigma so that men may seek a STD diagnosis and cure. Article #3.
when the virus persists, or does not go away, HPV can cause normal cells to become abnormal and, most of the time you cannot see or feel these cell changes.
Warts can appear within months after getting HPV.
Cancer often takes years—even decades—to develop after a person gets HPV.
Approximately 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. About 14 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that nearly all sexually-active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.