Oral Cancer and Oral Sex | Delmarva Dental Services

Oral Cancer and Oral Sex

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Oral cancer will be diagnosed in 40,000 Americans this year.  Of those 43% will be dead in five years.  This cancer is more prevalent and more lethal than cervical cancer which will effect 12,000 women with a 32% death rate.    It has been a  disease that has mostly effected males who smoked and drank alcohol. ORAL CANCER However this is changing and  now women and men in their 20 and 30″s are getting oral cancer. ORAL CANCER There is now a new  kind of oral cancer.   Not the typical oral squamous cell cancer similar to skin cancer but a cancer caused by a virus.  It is the human papilloma virus (HPV)  which is the same virus transmitted sexually that causes cervical cancer in women. This  is transmitted by oral sex.   There are 150 different HPV’s.  Sixty of them cause the kind of wart you get on your skin and 40 are sexually transmitted.  Of these 40 only about 8 cause cancer and two forms cause 70% of the cancers.  Unfortunately you may have the virus and not know it because you don’t always get a wart. ORAL ANCER   So how common is this HPV sexually transmitted disease.  It is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States with 79 million people infected.  Twenty million people become infected a year and 70% of them are between the ages of 15 and 24.  These numbers will only rise because if it is in the mouth it has the potential to be spread by deep kissing.  HPV can also cause anal and penile cancer.  The good news is that most people who have HPV will not get cancer because their immune system will fight it off and or they have a less virulent virus.  However individuals with weakened immune systems are more susceptible.  A John Hopkins study found that marijuana increases the risk of oral cancer in patient who have HPV.  It is theorized that the marijuana weakens the immune system.   Also oral HPV cancer is more easily treated than squamous cell oral cancer. So what can be done about this.  First there is a vaccine for women called Cervarix and one for both men and women called Gardasil. Both boys and girls should get vaccinated around age 11.  Second teenagers and adults  should have regular oral cancer exams by a dentist . Suspicious lesions should be biopsied and or removed. Thirdly, avoid multiple sexual  partners.  Most importantly save yourself for your husband or wife as God instructs you to do.  

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  1. thanks for providing education to us

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