Scientists say that 64 percent of cancers of the oral cavity, head, and neck in the U.S. are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which is commonly spread via oral sex, NPR reported. The more oral sex you have – and the more oral sex partners you have – the greater the risk of developing these potentially deadly cancers.
“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, Ohio State University’s Dr. Maura Gillison, said at a recent scientific meeting, according to NPR.
“Today’s teens consider oral sex to be casual, socially acceptable, inconsequential, and significantly less risky to their health than ‘real’ sex,” Dr. Gillison and colleagues said in a writtenstatement released in conjunction with the meeting.
Teens simply think oral sex is “not that a big a deal,” Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, told NPR. “Parents and health educators are not talking to teens about oral sex. Period.”
“When my patients ask whether they should vaccinate their sons, I say ‘certainly,” Gillison said, theTelegraph reported. “The vaccine will protect them against genital warts and anal cancer and also as a potential byproduct of that it may protect them against oral cancer caused by HPV.”
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