The HPV virus, which is a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer in women, is quickly becoming the leading cause of oral cancer
in men according to a new study.
Published Friday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the study found that the HPV virus now causes as many cancers of the upper throat as tobacco and alcohol, but this is probably due to both an increase in oral sex and the decline in smoking.
The human papillomavirus is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women and can also cause genital warts, penile and anal cancer, while studies have suggested that oral sex is associated with HPV-related oral cancers, but that a cause-effect relationship has not been proved.
The new study looked at incidence rates for HPV-related oral cancers and found that the rates rose steadily in men from 1973 to 2004 and have become almost as common as those from tobacco and alcohol.