Thursday, July 30, 2009

Increase in Oral Sex Causing Rise in Throat Cancer

Increasing rates of HPV infection, spread through oral sex, is largely driving the rapid rise in oropharyngeal cancers, says Dr. Scott Lippman, who chairs the thoracic department at the University of Texas' M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Lippman says studies of oropharyngeal tumor tissue stored 20 years ago show that only around 20% are HPV positive. Today it is estimated that 60% of patients are infected with the virus.


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