New Study Claims Oral Sex Raises Risk Of Cancer By 22 Times
Why Is This Important?
Because everyone has a hankering for tacos from time to time.
Long Story Short
A new study finds that performing oral sex dramatically raises your risk of getting throat cancer. It’s due to the introduction of HPV to the mouth and throat.
When I was on the wrestling team in high school, 99% of our time spent not practicing was spent telling stories about things we almost certainly hadn’t done with girls we almost certainly weren’t dating. One guy, I think our 135 pounder, loved to go on and on with Danielle Steele-worthy stories about going down on his girlfriend. “Haha, ok, sure thing Gavin,” we’d all say. Until one day, when he caught a yeast infection in his throat — then we believed him. It turns out he still may have dodged a bullet, as a new study published in the journal JAMA Oncology finds that performing oral sex makes you 22x more likely to develop throat cancer.
The reasoning is a little complicated, to say the least. It has to do with human papillomavirus (HPV), which practically everyone over the age of 25 has. HPV itself doesn’t cause cancer, but certain strains are known to cause changes in the cells of the throat and soft palate when introduced. Any time cells are altered, they’re at risk for becoming cancerous.
Typically, it’s women who have to worry about HPV — it’s behind the vast majority of cervical cancer cases. That’s why young girls are now encouraged to get the vaccine for it, though doctors won’t administer it after the early 20s due to the assumption that if she’s been sexually active, she likely already has the virus. And most times, that’s OK — a healthy person’s immune system can usually subdue it.
The ladies don’t face the same risk from performing oral sex, so if she’s wishy-washy about slobbing your knob, you can assure her that at the very least, her odds of getting cancer are low. And, honestly, so are yours. While throat cancer is fairly prevalent (the 11th most common cancer worldwide), the average age of a throat cancer patient is 62. Unless old people are munching way more carpet than we’re comfortable imagining (they may be!), you’re far more likely to get throat cancer from smoking, excessive drinking, being obese or eating a lot of processed meat. Still, it may be worth having an awkward conversation with your cunnilingus subject about whether or not she’s had the HPV vaccine treatments.
This is yet another good reason to limit your hookups to girls born in the 90s.