New data collected by FAIR Health over the last five years reported a 180,000 person - or a 61 per cent increase - in oral cancer cases in men, most notably throat and tongue cancer.
The recent report was based on the findings of more than 21 billion privately billed medical claims. Most alarmingly, forms of oral cancer have increased whilst smoking rates have dropped, signalling a rise in untreated Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
Gypsyamber D’souza, an associate professor at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, puts the rising cancer rate down to increased sexual activity.
“These differences in sexual behaviour across age cohorts explain the differences that we see in oral HPV prevalence and in HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer across the generations and why the rate of this cancer is increasing,” D’souza said.
WHAT IS HPV?
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that infects skin cells and membranes found around the oral regions, the rectum and sexual organs. HPV can spread when these areas come into direct skin to skin contact, mainly through sexual contact.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Although a large number of cases present no signs, common symptoms include genital warts, itchiness or dryness of the oral and sexual body parts.
IF I’VE CAUGHT HPV, WILL I GET CANCER?
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) most recently suggested that for the most part, it is too hard to determine the risk of cancer.
“In most cases, the virus goes away and it does not lead to any health problems. There is no certain way to know which people infected with HPV will go on to develop cancer.”
HOW DO I KNOW FOR SURE IF I HAVE HPV?
It’s always important to make sure you get regularly tested. Should you notice symptoms, it’s important to get checked out - not only to be sure you don’t spread the STI but to also seek treatment that can reduce both discomfort and the length of the symptoms. Unfortunately there is no known cure for HPV, although there are vaccines which can significantly reduce the risk.
Regular testing by your GP can help put you and your partner's minds at ease if you have worries or concerns about your sexual health.
If we've scared you off performing oral sex, luckily there are a truckload of other ways to keep her satisfied. Check out the 10 Sex Positions That Practically Guarantee Her Orgasm.