Oral s£x is a common form of foreplay that involves kissing or licking the genital area to please a partner. Human papillomavirus (HPV) can be transmitted during oral s£x, increasing the risk of throat cancer. HPV can spread during oral s£x, raising the risk of cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States.
Sexual health poses several risks. Worrying about potential health issues, on the other hand, can reduce the intimacy between partners and, ultimately, quality of life. When it comes to sexual health protection, doctors always advise caution. The links between oral s£x, HPV, and throat cancer will be discussed in this article. It will also go over the primary risk factors for throat cancer.
Quick facts about oral sex and throat cancer
• Oral sex does not cause throat cancer directly, but it can spread HPV.
• HPV can cause pre-cancerous changes in cells, which can eventually lead to throat cancer.
• Smoking and alcohol consumption increase the likelihood that an HPV infection will progress to cancer.
• Oral cancer in its early stages can cause discolored tissues, mouth sores, ulcers that do not heal, and swelling or lumps in the mouth.
Click here to know the symptoms and treatment of throat cancer
Is oral s£x sexually safe?
Oral s£x involves using the mouth to stimulate a partner’s genitals or genital area.
This type of sex has the potential to transmit sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as:
• herpes genital
A person’s risk of contracting HPV can be reduced by getting the HPV vaccine. Gardasil 9 is the most widely used vaccine in the United States.
To reduce the risk of STIs in general, use a condom, dental dam, or another barrier method every time you have oral s£x. This can improve the act’s safety and reduce the risk of passing or contracting an STI.
Cancer and HPV
Oral cancer is not caused directly by HPV infection. The virus causes changes in infected cells. The virus’s genetic material becomes incorporated into cancer cells, causing them to proliferate. In the United States, HPV is responsible for 70% of the throat or oropharyngeal cancers. These cancers are most commonly found in the tonsils or the back of the tongue. Most HPV infections are usually cleared up by the body within two years. Because smoking damages immune cells in the skin, people who smoke are less likely to be able to clear an HPV infection. Normally, these help to protect against viral damage.
Some low-risk HPV strains can cause warts to grow in the mouth and throat. These growths are frequently harmless.
They can, however, cause severe airway obstruction and complications. These warts can become cancerous in extremely rare cases. If the immune system does not clear the infection, high-risk HPV can cause a variety of cancers.
Throat cancer risk factors
While HPV is not the only cause of throat cancer, it does increase the risk of developing throat cancer.
Other risk factors are:
1. Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for all head and neck cancers, including throat cancer. Regular, long-term, heavy smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop a type of throat cancer.
Prolonged exposure to the following hazardous substances can also increase the risks:
• fumes from paint
• wood shavings and dust
• chemicals found in the plastic, metal, and textile industries
Dangerous substance exposure: Prolonged exposure to the following factors may also raise the risks:
• fumes from paint
• wood shavings and dust
• chemicals used in the plastics, metals, and textile industries
3. Alcohol: Heavy, ongoing alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing throat cancer. The type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages is ethanol. Alcoholic beverages contain varying amounts of ethanol. However, a standard-size drink contains the same amount of ethanol as any other type. The following are the standard sizes for various types of alcoholic beverages:
a 12-ounce (oz) beer
5 oz. wine
1.5 oz. booze
Overall, the amount of alcohol consumed over time, rather than the type of alcoholic beverage, appears to be the most important factor in increasing cancer risk. The majority of evidence suggests that ethanol, not other ingredients in the drink, increases the risk.
People who have gastroesophageal reflux disease are at a slightly increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. This risk appears to be greater in people who experience more frequent symptoms.
HPV Signs and Symptoms
HPV symptoms are frequently “silent,” and most people are unaware they have the virus.
However, the condition may be progressing to an early stage of oral cancer if the following symptoms appear:
• A mouth sore or ulcer develops and does not heal within three weeks.
• Discoloration of the soft tissues of the mouth
• Swallowing pain and the sensation that food is stuck in the throat
• No pain or swelling in the tonsils
• chewing discomfort
• a persistent sore throat or croaky voice with a cough
• a numb sensation in the mouth and lips
• any mouth swelling or lumps, as well as painless lumps on the outside of the neck
• a one-sided earache that lasts more than a few days
If you notice these symptoms, you should see a doctor.
While there are links between oral s£x and the transmission of oral HPV, researchers have yet to conclusively link the virus to the development of oral cancers.
Oral s£x, on the other hand, raises the risk of HPV transmission. Doctors advise taking additional precautions, such as using barrier methods during oral s£x.