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Increased Risk of Cancer in Men due to Oral Sex

Update Date: Feb 22, 2016 09:20 AM EST

According to a recent study, men are more likely to mouth and throat related cancer linked to human papillomavirus, or HPV, one of the most common infections transmitted sexually, say the researchers.

Men's risk of HPV linked cancers of the neck and head increase as the number of sexual partners or oral sex partners increase, say the researchers at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on Friday.

The study reveals that 2 out of 3 cases of oral cancers in Western countries, especially the United States are led by HPV infection. Cancer has also been on a subsequent rise in all these years, said Gypsyamber D'Souza, teacher of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Middle-aged white men are at a higher risk as compared to people from other races, says the study. She also pointed out that the young men have also started engaging in oral sex at an early age. "Our research shows that for men, the number of oral sex partners -- as that number increases, the risk of an oral HPV infection increases," she told reporters, as reported by Newsmax Health

Researchers also claimed that with women, however, number of sexual partners do not mean an increased risk of cancer. "Comparing men and women with the same number of sexual partners, a man is much more likely to become infected with oral HPV than a woman."

The researchers explained that when women are exposed to HPV through their vagina, their body's internal system acts as a defense mechanism by building a strong immune response. However, since men do not have the same immune response, their risk of cancer increases, says

"Men are not only more likely to be infected with oral HPV infection than women, but our research shows that once you become infected, men are less likely to clear this infection than women, further contributing for the cancer risk."

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