HPV Oral Cancer: HPV Bigger Cancer Threat Than Smoking
Scientists say HPV is now the top cause of oral cancer in men.
Known as human papillomavirus, the STD causes genital warts and cervical cancer in women. However, scientists say cases of oral cancer from HPV are increasing dramatically in the U.S.
Doctors found increased cases of men with tumors in the back of their tongues and tonsils. The men were mostly white, male and non-smokers.
"If you've had more than five or six sexual partners, you are at a higher risk," the New York Daily News quoted Dr. Eric M. Genden, professor and chair of head and neck surgery at Mount Sinai Medical centre as saying.
"We're only now beginning to see the beginning of a bell curve," he said.
HPV currently affects about 20 millions Americans and about 6 million become newly infected each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is passed from skin-to-skin contact and will affect nearly all sexually active Americans at some point in their lives.
Doctors say regular screening is the best option for sexually active men.
"Anyone old enough to have engaged in sexual behaviours known to transmit this virus needs to be screened annually for oral cancer. It's the only way to catch this disease at its early stages," Genden said in the same interview.