Oral Sex Linked to the Rise of Oral Cancer
At Cosmetic Dentists of Houston, we take oral cancer very seriously. Dr. Amanda Canto offers free oral cancer screenings and lectures to Houston school kids about the link between HPV and oral cancer and the increased risk of transmission through oral sex.
Oral Cancer Linked to HPV
Recent studies are linking increased exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV, or genital warts) – a very common sexually transmitted virus – with increased risk of oral cancer. HPV can be transmitted from person to person through any type of genital-to-genital contact as well as oral sex.¹ Exposure to the HPV virus is known to increase risk of cervical cancer in women, and now we understand that it also dramatically increases your risk for oral cancer.
HPV and Oral Cancer: Get the Facts
Oral Cancer is on the Rise:
Today, oral cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States, especially in the younger population, where it is believed to be increasing via HPV exposure.
HPV is Very Common:
It is estimated that 75% of the population is affected by the human papillomavirus at some point in their lives. Most people do not know they have it, or have ever had it.
A History of HPV Increases Oral Cancer Risk:
Any prior infection with HPV-16 increases your risk for oral cancer by 9-fold, and a history of oral HPV increases risk for oral cancer 50-fold.
Who Is “At Risk” for Oral Cancer?
- Smokers and tobacco users of any kind (including snuff, chewing tobacco, pipes, cigars and cigarettes)
- Alcohol Users
- People with a previous history of oral cancer
- Populations exposed to HPV
What YOU Can Do:
- Learn more about oral cancer and HPV.
- Educate your children about the risks of exposure to HPV.
- Get screened regularly.
- Educate your dentist (if you have to!).
Younger Populations Are at Risk:
Previously, it was believed that 75% of oral cancer was found in people who were heavy smokers or alcohol users. However, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation:
“Younger, non-smoking patients under the age of 50 are the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population….This HPV 16-18 presence, makes determination of at risk populations much more difficult, and opportunistic screening of ALL patients must become the norm if the death rate is to be reduced.
Get Yourself Screened
Out of Town? Visit our Nationwide Oral Cancer Screening Directory to find a dentist who offers free oral cancer screenings near you?
¹ Centers for Disease and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm
² Oral Cancer Foundation
³ Mount Sinai Hospital