Actor Michael Douglas made headlines on Monday after telling The Guardian that his throat cancer may have been caused by the human papillomavirus transmitted through oral sex.
The link between oral sex, HPV and cancer has been receiving more attention in recent years.
HPV is a virus that’s transmitted through sexual contact — genital or oral. There are more than 40 types, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and approximately 79 million Americans are currently infected. Most people have no symptoms.
“HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives,” the CDC’s website states. “In most cases, the virus goes away and it does not lead to any health problems. There is no certain way to know which people infected with HPV will go on to develop cancer.”
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