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Medically reviewed by Robert Haddad, MD. Throat cancer is one of many cancers that affect the head and neck area, including the nasopharynx , the area of the throat behind the nose; the oropharynx , middle part of the throat; the hypopharynx, the bottom section of the throat; the oral cavity where the tongue sits; and the larynx , the area of the throat used for speaking. Excessive alcohol intake is also associated with throat cancer. Infection with human papilloma virus HPV has also been recognized recently as a major cause of oropharynx cancer in the U.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Throat cancer survivor remained positive throughout his treatment

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Throat cancer

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Back to Sexual health. Some types of cancer are linked to human papillomavirus HPV infection in the mouth and throat. It's likely that some types of HPV are spread by oral sex.

Cancers in the mouth and throat are sometimes called head and neck cancers, and include cancers of the:. But there's growing evidence that an increasing proportion of cancer is caused by HPV infection in the mouth. Around 1 in 4 mouth cancers and 1 in 3 throat cancers are HPV-related, but in younger patients most throat cancers are now HPV-related. The types of HPV found in the mouth are almost entirely sexually transmitted, so it's likely that oral sex is the primary route of getting them.

There are more than types of HPV and around 15 are associated with cancers. These 15 are known as high-risk HPV types. They're also passed on through vaginal and anal sex, and are linked to cancer of the cervix, anus and penis. Some can be passed on through skin-to-skin contact and cause warts, including genital warts. The types of HPV that cause visible warts are low risk and are not the same types that cause cancer.

We do not know for sure. Another study published in found that in America, 6 in men and 1 in women carried potentially cancer-causing types of HPV in their mouth. The study did not link a specific number of partners with the risk of carrying HPV in the mouth, or of cancer. This study also looked at how common mouth and throat cancers were in people carrying these harmful types of HPV, and found it's still very rare: around 7 in 1, men and 2 in 1, women. But we do know that HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer the part of the throat directly behind the mouth is twice as common in men than women, and is most common in heterosexual men in their 40s and 50s.

The concentration of HPV in the thinner, moist skin of a woman's genitals the vulva is much higher than the amounts in the thicker, dry skin of the penis. This could affect how easy it is to pass the virus on. But there are other differences in sexual behaviour between men and women that may also explain the differences in the rate of cancer, including the number of sexual partners. In 9 out of 10 cases, the infection is cleared naturally by the body within 2 years.

But people who smoke are much less likely to clear the virus from their body. This is because smoking damages special protective cells in the skin, allowing the virus to persist. Cancer is easier to treat if it's diagnosed early, but about half of these cancers are diagnosed when the disease has already spread within the neck.

The symptoms of mouth and throat cancer include:. You can make oral sex safer by using a condom on a man's penis. It acts as a barrier between the mouth and the penis. A dam a square of very thin, soft plastic across a woman's genitals can protect against infection.

Page last reviewed: 21 June Next review due: 21 June Can oral sex give you cancer? Contraception guide. Talking about sex Before sex: what to ask your partner Where can I get sexual health advice, now? Good sex tips Sex as you get older Sex after hysterectomy Help after rape and sexual assault.

Am I gay, lesbian or bisexual? Could I be pregnant? Pregnancy and baby guide. Penis health 5 penis facts Penis size How to keep a penis clean Penis enlargement. Is my vagina normal? Keeping your vagina clean and healthy Vagina changes after childbirth. Cancers in the mouth and throat are sometimes called head and neck cancers, and include cancers of the: mouth lip tongue voice box larynx area that connects the nose and throat nasopharynx What causes cancer in the mouth and throat?

How do you get HPV in the mouth? How common is HPV in the mouth? This was more common in smokers and in men with more oral sex partners. Is it more risky giving oral sex to a woman or a man? Other research indicates that HPV can be present in semen and passed on at ejaculation.

How does HPV cause cancer? If cell changes do happen, it can take a long time, even decades. If you're worried If you're worried about cancer of the mouth or throat, see your GP.

What Is Throat Cancer?

It's not just a disease of old men and chain-smokers, say experts—but fortunately, many cases can be cured. Cancers of the tongue or tonsils, similar to the type actor Michael Douglas had, are also sometimes referred to as throat cancer. Cancerous tumors that form on the larynx itself usually cause a change in voice and, if they become large enough, can cause difficulty speaking. Tumors in other parts of the throat may not be as obvious, but nearly all throat cancers cause symptoms eventually. Other symptoms can include persistent sore throat, earaches, and pain when swallowing.

On Sunday, in an interview with the Guardian , actor Michael Douglas revealed that his throat cancer was not caused by tobacco and alcohol, but by HPV, which was transmitted through oral sex. The throat cancer, I assume, was first seeded during those wild middle years, when he drank like a fish and smoked like the devil.

Diagram of the oral cavity and oropharynx. The oral cavity includes the lips, the labial and buccal mucosa, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the retromolar pad, the floor of the mouth, the gingiva, and the hard palate. The oropharynx includes the palatine and lingual tonsils, the back one-third base of the tongue, the soft palate, and the posterior pharyngeal wall. Human papillomavirus HPV can cause serious health problems, including warts and cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States.

Does oral sex cause throat cancer?

Recently, though, and for the first time ever, the rate of head and neck cancers linked to human papillomavirus HPV infection in men has surpassed the incidence of HPV-related cervical cancer in women. Many throat cancer patients also have a high risk of developing a secondary cancer, typically in the larynx voice box , esophagus or lungs. After treatment ends, some patients may also develop another cancer in the lungs , mouth , throat or other nearby area. Throat cancer forms in the throat pharynx , larynx or tonsils. Typically, throat cancers are referred to as squamous cell carcinomas because they begin in the flat, squamous cells that line the moist surface of the throat. Oropharyngeal cancer forms in the throat, just behind the mouth, and sometimes in the tonsils. Hypopharyngeal cancer develops in the lower part of the throat, just above the esophagus and windpipe. Supraglottic cancer forms in the upper part of the voice box and includes cancers that affect the epiglottis, which blocks food from entering the windpipe.

With Oral and Throat Cancer on the Rise, Here Are Signs to Look Out For

You might be surprised to learn that the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus HPV is a leading cause of throat cancers, and it spreads from person to person via oral sex. You likely think of cervical cancer when you hear about the rising incidence of human papilloma virus HPV. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission.

In the last few years, actress Angelina Jolie went public with her double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer. Governor Chris Christie told us his reasons for gastric bypass surgery.

If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Oral sex is a commonly performed act of foreplay involving the kissing or licking of the genital area to pleasure a partner.

Facts to Know About Throat Cancer

Vocal cord cancer; Throat cancer; Laryngeal cancer; Cancer of the glottis; Cancer of oropharynx or hypopharynx; Cancer of the tonsils; Cancer of the base of the tongue. People who smoke or use tobacco are at risk of developing throat cancer. Drinking too much alcohol over a long time also increases risk. Smoking and drinking alcohol combined lead to an increased risk for throat cancer.

Men are two to three times more likely than women to develop throat cancer in their lifetime. Lack of fruits and vegetables: A diet low in fruits and vegetables may increase the likelihood of developing throat cancer. Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD : When acid moves from the stomach into the esophagus, acid reflux develops. Chronic acid reflux, or GERD, may increase throat cancer risk depending on its frequency and severity. Contracting EBV may increase the likelihood of developing throat cancer. Next topic: What are the symptoms of throat cancer?

Top questions about throat cancer

Everyone knows or should know that smoking causes lung cancer. They are exposed to the cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke as well. Sure enough, smoking causes mouth, throat and voicebox cancer. People who use both alcohol and tobacco face still higher risks of getting a head and neck cancer than those who use one or the other alone. So, if you use tobacco, stop! But what about sex?

Jun 3, - You Can Get Throat Cancer From Oral Sex more than 2, new cases of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers are diagnosed in women and.

Throat cancer generally refers to cancers that start in the pharynx or larynx voice box , but can also refer to cancers that start in the oesophagus food pipe or thyroid. Some cancers which begin in the throat area, as well as the tongue, salivary glands, sinuses, nose or ear, are classified as head and neck cancers. The two main types of cancer that are commonly referred to as throat cancers are pharyngeal and laryngeal cancers - cancer of the pharynx and the larynx. Treatment will depend on the extent of the surgery.

Throat Cancer’s Link to Oral Sex: What You Should Know

Cancer is a class of diseases in which abnormal cells multiply and divide uncontrollably in the body. These abnormal cells form malignant growths called tumors. Throat cancer refers to cancer of the voice box, the vocal cords, and other parts of the throat, such as the tonsils and oropharynx. Throat cancer is often grouped into two categories: pharyngeal cancer and laryngeal cancer.

HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer

Back to Sexual health. Some types of cancer are linked to human papillomavirus HPV infection in the mouth and throat. It's likely that some types of HPV are spread by oral sex. Cancers in the mouth and throat are sometimes called head and neck cancers, and include cancers of the:.

There is an emerging U. HPV is the same virus that is responsible for most cases of cervical cancer.

Happy Days star Erin Moran died April 22 from throat cancer that had spread to other parts of her body. Moran's former costar Scott Baio posted the letter to his Facebook wall. According to Fleischmann's letter, on November 23, , Moran woke up and found a dime-size blood stain on her pillowcase, which she initially thought was because she'd bitten her tongue. When the blood on her pillowcase reappeared several times over the next few weeks, Fleischmann says he finally took a flashlight to look in her mouth to see what was going on.

Can I really get throat cancer from oral sex? Michael Douglas says so.

The throat pharynx is a muscular tube that runs from the back of your nose down into your neck. It contains three sections: the nasopharynx, oropharynx and laryngopharynx, which is also called the hypopharynx. Your throat includes your esophagus, windpipe trachea , voice box larynx , tonsils and epiglottis. Throat cancer refers to cancerous tumors that develop in your throat pharynx , voice box larynx or tonsils. Your throat is a muscular tube that begins behind your nose and ends in your neck.

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