HPV Triggers Throat Cancer Rise, Docs Say

Virus that causes cervical cancer may be spread via oral sex
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2008 3:12 PM CDT
Doctors research HPV in this file photo.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Researchers believe the virus behind cervical cancer is also responsible for a rash of throat cancers, the Chicago Tribune reports. With baby boomers mainly falling victim to the disease, experts believe the rise in oral sex since the 1960s and '70s could be behind the small-scale epidemic—which could be more prevalent than cervical cancer within a decade.

"It's almost a new disease, in a sense," said one oncologist. "It's now becoming a dominant sub-type of the disease that we see in our clinic.” The good news is that HPV throat cancers are slightly less deadly than the varieties caused by smoking, “but these are still very aggressive cancers,” one doctor warns.