Men who smoke cigarettes and have five oral sex partners or more, increase their risk of developing a type of head and neck cancer that is the most common.
A just published study found the two patterns of behavior are linked with throat and oral cancers through human papillomavirus or HPV.
Experts in public health are already aware from a large research that including a study that earlier in the week was published, that men with multiple partners for oral sex have a higher risk of contracting HPV, but it appears that when the man also is a smoker, that risk is higher.
For this study, researchers analyzed data from a survey of people between the ages of 20 and 69 with the total people involved being over 13,000, and calculated how many people had oral HPV infections.
Information was cross-reference on the number of deaths due to oropharyngeal cancer and data on overall deaths across the U.S. to determine a risk factor for oral HPV.
Through different samples of mouthwash, which detected the HPV cells, researches could ascertain prevalence of oral HPV infections.
The just published study found that men who smoked as well as reported having several oral sex partners (five or higher), were in the highest group for risk for contracting oral HPV, and therefore were more likely to develop cancer.
Men with various sex partners, but that do not have a history of smoking, had some risk, but not close to the same amount.
Prevalence amongst that group ended at 1.5%, but increased to 4% for non-smoking males that had between 2 and 4 oral sex partners, while in smokers with five sex partners or more was at 7% prevalence.
Overall the risk for a woman for head or neck cancer that was HPV-related, whether or not she smoked, was far lower than for males.
Prevalence of oral HP infection for women was 1.5% in those that had two oral sex partners or more. Women that had the lowest risk were ones who had one oral sex partner or less regardless if they were smokers or not.
Over time, HPV infection in the throat, if not cleared out of the body, could result in OPSCC or oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.
According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, over 70% of the OC’s are caused from HPV type-16 infections, which is strain of the virus that is very high risk.