The combination of smoking and oral sex can be a deadly reason to raise the risk of a male getting head and neck cancer
The main reason for the transmission of oral bacteria of the cancer is linked to the HPV i.e. human papillomavirus, which can be which easily passed from a female to a male via oral sex. The study says that men who smoke and indulge in oral sex with many partners are at the higher risk of getting either a head or neck cancer, known as oropharyngeal cancer.
These days HPV infections seem to be rising among men because of oral sex amongst men between 50 to 60 of age because of the increasing trend and acceptance of oral sex.
The risk of contracting HPV through oral sex and then get cancer is not very common and remains very low. The risk is much lower among women and people who do not smoke and people who have limited sex partners.
The increased inclination towards indulging in oral sex has led to the increased number of people getting infected with oral HPV. It has been seen that the majority of males who have been active in oral sex are heterosexual and engaging in cunnilingus. To detect cancer caused because of oral sex and smoking through HPV infection, a patient has to go through a series of tests. The risk of acquiring cancer increases by 7% in men who smoke and have multiple sex partners. The risk is even higher by 7.5% in men who might not smoke but had more than 5 oral sex partners and were actively participating in it. The rise of 15% has been reported with men who have been smoking regularly and having more than 5 sexual partners.
People who are infected with oral HPV generally get rid of it naturally within a time period of 9 months. But for some people, the infection goes on for 20 to 30 years causing them head and neck or cervical cancer. About 16,500 cases of Oropharyngeal cancer are reported out of which 70% are because of HPV infection. This cancer is so rare that merely screening won’t be any good for oral HPV infection. Oral HPV can be identified with current tests but can’t predict the cancer risks so well.
There are more than 100 types of HPV out of which only a few cause cancer including cervical cancer. Vaccinations are available to prevent HPV transmission which is called as the HPV vaccine. This is given to children early in life which can protect people from cervical cancer and anal cancer and especially against head and neck cancer too. If the kids are vaccinated in time cancer is caused because of HPV will greatly reduce. It is still not known what is the relation between HPV and smoking and why it is causing a higher risk of cancer. But researchers say that it does happen. A relation between cervical cancer and smoking have witnessed which makes sure that smoking and HPV are related somehow which leads to the increase of the risk to get cancer.