Can Oral Sex cause lung cancer?By Christopher Seward
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Oral sex may be more hazardous to mens’ health than cigarettes, according to a new study.

Researchers were already aware that human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a virus known for infecting the sexual organs of both males and females.

They were also aware that in some rare cases HPV can cause warts in the throat.

A new study by the Journal of Clinical Oncology and reported by Bloomberg News, however, has found a surge in the number of cases in which the sexually transmitted virus is linked to cancerous throat tumors in men.

Journal researchers studied 271 cases of throat tumors and found that the percentage linked to HPV had jumped to 72 percent by 2004 from 16 percent two decades earlier, Bloomberg reported.

By 2020, according to the report, the cases of cervical cancer linked to HPV will be overshadowed by cases of throat cancer linked to the virus.

Researchers told Bloomberg the rise in cases appears to be a link between the number of sexual partners and exposure to HPV.

Oncologist Maura Gillison of Ohio State University, the study’s senior author, told Bloomberg the new cancers are hitting men in their 30s to 50s, and researchers don’t know why women are not affected as much.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no treatment for the virus itself, only for the diseases that HPV can cause, such as genital warts and cervical cancer.

There are vaccines on the market to help ward off the virus, Cervarix and Gardasil. The vaccines are given in three shots and are most effective when given to young girls. Both vaccines can also help prevent oral cancers, according to the CDC.

The HPV vaccine became a hotly debated topic during a recent Republican Party debate during which presidential candidate Michele Bachmann accused Texas Gov. Rick Perry of forcing girls to take the HPV vaccine, which Perry denied.