Oral Sex Linked to Throat Cancer—Mandatory Vaccinations for Boys Too?


The Washington Post reports:

The sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer also sharply increases the risk of certain types of throat cancer among people infected through oral sex, according to a study being published today.

The study, involving 100 people with throat cancer and 200 without it, found that those infected with the human papillomavirus were 32 times as likely to develop one form of oral cancer than those free of the virus. Although previous research had indicated HPV caused oral cancer, the new study is the first to definitively establish the link, researchers said.

Last year, when Merck's new HPV vaccine, Gardasil, was approved by the FDA, a number of jurisdictions including the two in which I spend most of my time, Virginia and DC, made it mandatory for school girls. The idea is to prevent them from becoming infected later in life with the virus that is the leading cause of cervical cancer.

However, oral sex does not appear to be the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer. It is largely associated with tobacco consumption according to the American Cancer Society.

Last year, some anti-HPV vaccine folks worried that vaccination might encourage female promiscuity. If HPV vaccination becomes mandatory for both boys and girls will this exacerbate the oral sex craze among teens?

Whole Post article here.

Disclosure: Despite any rumors you may hear, I am not shilling for Big Oral Sex. I also do not own any Merck stock.