By Janice Budd, Associate Editor
Doctors cite health risk as more Jamaicans engaging in oral sex.
A local medical specialist is urging Jamaicans to be cautious in their selection of sex partners and how they indulge in oral sex with multiple partners, given the results of a study in the United States warning of a possible link between oral cancer and oral sex.
According to Dr Myrton Smith, a consultant ear, nose and throat specialist, while engaging in oral sex is always a matter of personal choice, there is some need for sexually active Jamaicans to be aware of the potential risk.
Dr Smith, who is also president of the Jamaica Association of Otolaryngologists, was responding to a Sunday Observer query based on reports in the US media a few weeks ago of the study presented during an American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in February.
The study suggested that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), known to cause cervical cancer, is also being spread through oral sex and has outranked tobacco use and heavy drinking as the leading cause of 64 per cent of oral cancers among young American men.
According to the US Oral Cancer Foundation’s website, nearly 8,000 of the 37,000 people in the United States diagnosed with oral cancer every year die from it. Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women.
At the same time, about half of all sexually active Americans are reportedly exposed to HPV, which is sexually transmitted.
HPV is one of the most common virus groups in the world today with almost 400 different types of HPV already identified, and different types being known to infect different parts of the body.
The most visible forms of the virus are warts (papillomas) on the hands, arms, legs, and other areas of the skin. Most HPVs of this type are very common, harmless, non-cancerous, and easily treatable. However, genital warts are also associated with HPV and the potentially deadly cervical cancer.
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[Note from SaneVax: More half truths to frighten people into taking the first genetically engineered vaccine on the market. Even the manufacturer does not state this vaccine will eradicate cancer of any type. It is well known that it will take decades before it is known whether HPV vaccines have any impact whatsoever on cervical cancer, much less any other type of cancer. Caveat emptor – let the buyer beware…..]