Oral Sex Linked to Fun in Bed and Also Cancer

New research links going downtown to a rise in oral cancer—but there's a way to have your cake and eat it too.
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(Photo: Getty Images)

(Photo: Getty Images)

In less than a decade incidences of oral cancer have skyrocketed among younger men, and the probable cause isn't what you think. While your dad and granddad might have acquired some kind of mouth rot from liquor or tobacco, a recent study indicates this kind of cancer is on the rise because men are more willing than ever to go down on their partners. 

The study cited by the Washington Post indicated that out of 21 billion insurance claims made from 2011 to 2015, research revealed oral cancer diagnoses had increased by a shocking 61 percent. Men dominated the reports, and the overall societal decline in smoking means cigarettes couldn't shoulder all the blame. HPV, a.k.a. the Human Papilloma Virus, is the most likely culprit, and men tend to acquire it when they go tongue-diving in search of the little man in the boat. The Post details just how nasty HPV can be:

HPV infects cells of the skin and the membranes that lines areas such as the mouth, throat, tongue, tonsils, rectum and sexual organs. Transmission can occur when these areas come into contact with the virus. HPV is a leading cause of cervical, vaginal and penile cancers.

The Post reports that surveys indicate younger men have far fewer hangups about giving partners oral pleasure, and as a result have become much more likely to acquire HPV in the process.

Unfortunately, the Post notes that oral HPV is also more virulent in men, and less likely to clear up easily. 

The good news for men—and their bedmates—is HPV risk is easily reduced by vaccine. As medical experts have begun to understand its deadly role in so many cancers, it's become a matter of serious concern and will eventually be one of those diseases like measles, mumps or rubella that is subject to automatic vaccination.

So don't worry so much—get a shot and go diving at will.

h/t Washington Post