ORAL sex is triggering a surge in cases of cancer, experts are warning.

There’s growing evidence that an increasing proportion of cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the mouth – which is spread by oral sex.

 Oral sex is putting more people at risk of catching the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cancer, dentists say

1

Oral sex is putting more people at risk of catching the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cancer, dentists sayCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Around one in four mouth cancers and one in three throat cancers are HPV-related, but in younger patients most throat cancers are now HPV-related.

Anna Middleton, leading dental hygienist and founder of London Hygienist, says: “This isn’t something to just pretend isn’t happening.

“There are stark facts out there about the rise of mouth cancer, especially in young people, caused by HPV.

“People need to be aware when engaging in sexual activity and take the right precautions.”

HPV is passed between people through skin to skin contact and sexual contact and you do not need to have penetrative sex to catch HPV.

The signs of HPV and oral cancer

HPV has no symptoms, so you may not know if you have it and it is incredibly common.

In-fact, the majority of people will get some type of HPV in their life.

For women HPV testing is part of cervical screening but there is no blood test for HPV. So, if you are worried, make sure you consult your GP for medical advice.

If you are worried about oral cancer, here, Anna shares the warning signs and things to watch out for…

READ  Carrie Grant health: Vocal coach's 'distressing' condition - the symptoms

1. Patches on your tongue

A white or red patch inside of your mouth or on your tongue could be a potential sign of oral cancer.

If these patches last more than three weeks you should see your dentist.

These patches often are painless and can easily go undetected often they are harmless but can equally be precancerous.

2. Ulcers that don’t heal

Mouth ulcers are painful sores that appear in the mouth.

Although they are very sore and can cause discomfort, they usually clear up on their own within a week or so.

However, if your mouth ulcer keeps getting worse, or has not got better after more than three weeks, it could be a sign of oral cancer.

Ulcers caused by mouth cancer tend to appear on or under the tongue, but you can get them in other areas of your mouth.

3. A swelling in your mouth

If you notice a swelling in your mouth which has been there for more than three weeks it is worth getting it checked out.

Human Papillomavirus can cause growths in your mouth.

What is the HPV virus?

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common sexually transmitted infection which affects at least half of people who are sexually active.

The STI is the most widespread worldwide and four out of five of the population will contract some form of the virus at least once in their life.

In most cases, the body’s immune system will fight off the virus and there won’t be any need for extra tests, in fact, some people may not even know they contracted it at all.

READ  Type 2 diabetes: The superfood proven to lower blood sugar levels

The HPV infection affects the skin and mucosa (any moist membrane, such as the lining of the mouth and throat, the cervix and the anus).

And different types impact different parts of the body, causing lesions e.g. HPV types 1 and 2 cause verrucas on the feet.

Out of the 100 identified types of HPV, around 40 of them affect the genital areas of men and women, and of these roughly 20 are associated with the development of cancer.

Dentists have warned that dating apps such as Tinder are putting more people at risk of catching HPV passed on by oral sex.

These don’t tend to cause pain, but once discovered need to be treated and removed so that they don’t lead to oral cancer.

The general rule is that if something seems abnormal lasts more than 3 weeks, seek medical attention.

4. Pain when swallowing

There are many causes for pain when swelling and most of the time this is associated with an infection such as a sore throat, cold, or sinus infection.

However, although rare, pain when swelling can be a symptom of throat, or oral cancer.

If you have had this symptom for a while, or you’re starting to eat softer food, consult your doctor/dental professional.

5. A lump in your throat

Otherwise known as ‘globus pharyngeus’, it is the feeling when you’re unable to remove a lump in your throat, or it feels like something is stuck there but there is no actual obstruction.

Typically, cancer of the mouth and throat occurs in those who have risk factors such as smoking, alcohol or a history of HPV.

So, if you know you have one of the associated risk factors and have a sore in your mouth that won’t heal, a sensation of something in your throat that won’t go away, fevers or night sweats, or weight loss then seek medical advice.

It is important that everyone gets regular checks in their mouth.

Catching cancer in the initial stages means you have the best possible chance of successful treatment.

Stacey Solomon says she felt ‘dirty’ when she confessed to contracting HPV





READ SOURCE

WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here