Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog highlights a new study linking oral sex to throat cancer. Apparently a strain of HPV contracted orally increased the risk of contracting a form of throat cancer 32-fold. Another reason to support the HPV vaccine.
Furthermore, drinking and smoking did not exacerbate the risk of throat cancer in these patients---it was really *just* the virus. Despite this increased risk, the overall risk even for people who carried HPV, was very low. Its also important to note that the number of patients in the study was low (100 cancer patients, 200 normal controls) so the results should be replicated before you make...er....adjustments in your lifestyle.
It would extremely interesting to determine if the HPV vaccine can also protect against oropharyngeal cancer as well as cervical cancer. Hopefully, this lab or another is working on detmining [sic] that.
Interesting side note: the authors also pointed out that, "Poor dentition, infrequent toothbrushing,and infrequent dental visits have been associated with an increased risk of squamous-cell carcinomas of the head and neck." Wow! Not brushing your teeth increases your risk of cancer?! I'm going to brush them right now!
You've been warned.