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Dr. Andrea Ruman, MD(Internist)answered(7/18/2012)HPV or human papilloma virus is a common sexually transmitted infection. HPV is transmitted through skin to skin contact and can infect the genital areas in women and men. In addition HPV can infect the anal area in persons who engage in unprotected (ie no condoms) anal sexual intercourse. More and more research has linked the presence of HPV infection of the mouth and throat with oral cancer. There are >100 HPV types, some found in skin warts and others in mucous tissues, and the association of different HPV types with cervical, some anogenital, and head and neck cancers is well established.
As with HPV infection of the cervix in women through unprotected sexual intercourse between a male and female, oral HPV infection has been associated with oral sex.
Currently two vaccinations (Gardasil and Cervarix) have been approved in the US for prevention of the most common high risk HPV subtypes leading to cervical, anal and oral cancers. As more and more young men and women receive these vaccinations there may a decrease in the future of these types of HPV associated head and neck cancers.
Bob Smithing, MSN, NP, FAANP(Family Nurse Practitioner)answered(11/22/2012)Not by STDs in general but by HPV 16 which is also a causative agent in cervical and other reproductive cancers. Several studies have shown the presence of HPV 16 in throat and oral cancers. While no studies have answered the question of how much the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix will help they both protect against HPV 16 and I expect both will provide some protection.
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Anonymousanswered(1/13/2012)This is true! Keep in mind I'm not a doctor, but this is something I've discussed with my doctor.
Basically HPV can lead to cervical, vaginal, anal, and oral cancers. Gynecological exams are helpful in catching abnormal cells early (ask for not just a cervical pap, but also an anal pap!) But apparently, there isn't an agreed-upon way to check for abnormal cells like this in your mouth.
Your dentist should do a thorough oral exam/cancer check, looking for white patches, growths, etc. So make sure you see him/her regularly.
The good news is that oral cancer is relatively rare, but just remember that giving head to avoid increasing your "number" might not be the safest strategy!