One study even discovered that A large part of the problem is HPV's universality.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximates that 80 percent of women in the U. have been exposed to the virus by age 50, an estimate that some researchers think is low.No one is quite sure what the exposure rate among men is, although guys tend to become infected more readily than women: Studies of college students found active infections in half of women and nearly two-thirds of men.
While there are more than 100 strains of the HPV virus, most oral cancers result from HPV-16.
Those who test positive for HPV-16 are 14 times as likely to develop oral cancer as those who do not.
(There are at least seven other strains known to cause cancers, including cervical, anal, penile, and vulvar, as well as six more suspected of doing so.), there is no test that can easily identify HPV-related throat cancer.
By the time those with the disease become aware that they're sick, cancer has often spread to their lymph nodes.
The next time you think about going down on a woman, think about this: She is almost certain to have been infected at some point with a virus that could, years from now, give you throat cancer.
The most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S., human papillomavirus, or HPV, has been blamed for a recent, rapid increase in the incidence of throat cancer – a disease that used to be rare in people who didn't drink or smoke excessively.According to data from 2004, the most recent available, rates of HPV-related throat cancer had risen 225 percent in the previous 16 years, with men suffering the most cases.Researchers point to the increasing popularity of oral sex – often seen as safer than intercourse – among heterosexual couples, a trend that may soon lead to more male fatalities in industrialized nations from HPV-related infections than female ones – a surprising turnaround after decades when women suffered higher death rates from the virus, which also causes cervical cancer through vaginal sex.Most people who contract HPV get rid of the virus within a few years without side effects or complications, and the number of men infected with HPV who actually develop cancer is still very small.The bad news, however, is that researchers believe there is virtually nothing a heterosexual man with a normal sex life can do to avoid HPV infection.