How many people have go had oral sex with? Your answer could determine how likely you are to get cancer.
Oral sex is one of the most common ways to spread HPV (human papillomavirus) which is a sexually transmitted infection that can increase your chance of getting throat cancer.
New research has found that men who smoke cigarettes regularly and have multiple sexual partners have a higher risk of contracting the virus.
Drinking alcoholic beverages can increase your risk of having cancer of the ophagus, colon, rectum and breast
The study published in the Annals of Oncology looked at a survey by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey which studied 13,089 people aged 20 to 69 for five years.
Over that time they recorded how many people contracted oral HPV and compared it to a separate database of deaths in America to find who of these people has throat cancer listed as their cause of death.
This allowed the researchers to see how common the risk of HPV infections were.
Grilled steak: red meat cooked at high temperatures heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have been linked to cancer.
In each age group men had a higher risk of infection than women and men who smoked and have over five sexual partners in a lifetime were exceptionally at risk. The incidence was lower in men who didn’t smoke yet still had multiple sexual partners.
Around 70% of throat cancers are caused by HPV as the proteins from the cancer-causing strain can attack cells and make them multiply at a quick rate.
Throat cancer cases caused by HPV have increased by over 300% since the 1980s.
Dr Ted Teknos said the first symptom of throat cancer is usually a lump in your neck.
He told Men’s Health: “It’s usually right where you get swollen glands from tonsillitis, the upper part of the neck right next to your voice box region.”
While there are no early symptoms of throat cancer, late-stage symptoms can include difficulty swallowing, a sort throat that won’t go away and changes in your voice.
However, there’s no reason to fear as Dr Ted said this should’t deter people from having oral sex.
He said the key to protecting yourself is to get the HPV vaccine before you are exposed.
HPV-related throat cancer has a 90% survival rate so see your doctor if you notice any symptoms. The quicker it’s identified, the better.