Fellatio and cunnilingus have taken precedence in recent years on tobacco as triggers for cancers of the mouth and throat in the United States, especially among young, U.S. doctors reported.
Responsible for this phenomenon is the human papillomavirus (HPV). The latter is known to cause many sexually transmitted infections and is the leading cause of cancer of the cervix in women.
United States, people infected with HPV are at 32 times more likely to suffer from oropharyngeal cancer than the rest of the population. In comparison, the risk for smokers is 3 times higher, "said Maura Gillison, a professor of medicine at the University of Ohio at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS ) in Washington.
HPV, unlike hepatitis or AIDS does not spread only through sexual intercourse but also through touch.
Dr. Gillison said that having oral sex with more than six partners in her life multiplied by at least 8 risk of developing cancer linked to HPV.
In total, cancers of the mouth and throat were up 225% from 1974 to 2007 in the United States, a large part in people having oral sex.
The fastest growth was observed among young white males, says Dr. Gillison.
These studies, however, must be confirmed by other research statistics, she says.
It nevertheless recommends that men should also be vaccinated against HPV. This vaccine protects against four strains of HPV, including two leaders of over 70% of cancers of the cervix and those that cause genital warts.
In addition, scientists suggest that the absolute risk of developing cancer buccopharyngé remains low.
The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that there are about 3400 new cases of oral cavity cancer per year in the country. This type of cancer, if treated early enough, is often curable.
Caresses buccosexuelles are the most common sexual practice among American teenagers, said Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco, during the presentation of a study on the topic AAAS conference.
"This research clearly shows that young people see oral sex as less risky than conventional intercourse," says the researcher.
According to her, prevention messages on oropharyngeal cancer should include oral sex practices.