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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > Snogging is (allegedly) unsafe sex
Snogging is (allegedly) unsafe sex  [message #70044] Wed, 29 July 2015 15:32 Go to previous message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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Registered: March 2012
Messages: 215



Apparently, kissing has overtaken smoking and drinking as the leading risk factor for developing head and neck cancers. That's according to Dr Mahiban Thomas, Head of Maxillofacial and Head and neck Surgery at the Royal Darwin Hospital.

"Royal Darwin Hospital doctor says human papilloma virus spread through kissing and other sexual contact has caused 'tsunami' of head and neck cancers"

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said studies suggest Oral HPV could be passed on during oral sex or open-mouthed or 'French' kissing, and about 7% of people have oral HPV, but only 1% of people have the type of oral HPV that is found in oropharyngeal cancers."

There are other (less sensational) articles:
"The leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer is from HPV"

HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity

The pertinant information seems to be:
1) 70% of head and neck cancer cases are 'caused by' HPV. (I've not yet found what evidence there is that it's a causal relationship rather than just an association).
2) 7% of people have oral HPV but 1% of people have the type of HPV found in oropharyngeal cancers. (As far as I can see, that refers to populations in the USA?)
3) Risk is increased for those who've French kissed six or more partners. (Isn't that almost everyone over 16 years old??)

Personally, having obtained a science degree in a Medical School, I tend take such reports with a tiny pinch of salt, bearing in mind that it seems to be based on statical inferences. e.g. I haven't been able to find any original research based on scientific epidemiological studies that eliminate effects of smoking and alcohol as contributing factors.

Also, HPV can apparently cause penile cancer.

Anyway, if it is all true, why don't they make the HPV vaccine available to everyone rather than just advocating it for teenage girls to help prevent cervical cancers?

Kit
 
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