Michael Douglas

An article written by Deborah Kotze for the Boston Globe on June 10th 2013 and condensed here, revealed that the HPV infection of throat cancer inflicted upon the actor Michael Douglas was a result of oral sex.  

About 14,000 throat cancers are diagnosed every year in the US, and about 70 percent of those are related to HPV, the virus most known for causing cervical cancer and anal cancer.

Dr. Robert Haddad, chief of the center for head and neck surgery at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said “most of these people never smoked, don’t have heavy alcohol use, and often have young children,” which makes it a particularly devastating diagnosis for couples.

Researchers haven’t determined the reason for the quick rise in HPV throat cancers, but it may have something to do with a shift in cultural norms toward more promiscuity when it comes to oral sex, or a genetic alteration in the virus that has enabled it to multiply and grow on oral tissue.

 

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