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Michael Douglas Addresses Cancer and Oral Sex Headlines

Michael Douglas went viral earlier this week when he brought up a sexually transmitted disease in connection with his 2010 battle with cancer.

Michael Douglas

Image from NYT

His representatives quickly addressed the statements that were made during an interview with The Guardian. The representatives told USA Today that Douglas was not talking specifically about his battle with cancer. Instead, he was simply making the connection between oral HPV and certain cancers.

We can speculate as much as we want, but we can’t know if oral HPV was the cause of Douglas’ cancer. However, we can thank him. We can thank him for bringing this issue to our attention. His comments draw attention to the little talked about fact that oral sex can cause oral cancers.

The link between oral sex and cancer isn’t new, but it still may catch some by surprise. It makes sense that drinking and smoking are risk factors associated with throat and oral cancers. But now, we see that throat cancers related to the sexually transmitted virus human papillomavirus (HPV) are becoming more common.

On the rise

The stats show that this connection is becoming an increasingly important issue.  Reports show that the connection between oral HPV and throat cancer is on the rise. According to the CDC, the incidence rates for HPV-associated throat cancer among white men and women increased between 2000 and 2009. HPV-related throat cancers are more common in men than cervical cancer in women.

Who is at risk?

Throat cancers in the elderly are usually associated with smoking. The demographic that is being diagnosed with HPV-related cancers are younger. Adults ages 40 to 65 are the primary group developing cancer related to oral HPV.

Protect yourself: be aware

Since there is currently no test for oral HPV, how will you protect yourself? The HPV vaccine given to young men and women is a good step to reduce risk. For those not protected by the vaccine, the best way to reduce risk is to know the symptoms. Since this STD can be treated if detected early, its so important to pay attention to any potential symptoms. To reduce risk, remember to follow safe sex practices.

 Learn more about HPV and how to prevent it.

Be aware of your cancer risk factors and test yourself for STDs.

posted in HPV,HPV Vaccine,STDs and have Comments (27)

27 comments

  1. Comment by Hales Corners Heating and Air Conditioning on June 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    It was a shock hearing this news, and his response. Hope everything works out for him.

  2. Comment by AA Northland Stor-All on June 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I guess you just have to be careful when having sex nowadays. Thanks for sharing the info.

  3. Comment by Prestige One Landscaping on June 10, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    This isn’t something new connecting cancer and oral sex. Making sure to get yourself checked would be a great place to start, and don’t ever feel ashamed of asking questions.

  4. Comment by SeniorCare Homes on June 10, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Wow! “HPV-related throat cancers are more common in men than cervical cancer in women.” That is shocking, I have never heard this information before, thanks for sharing!

  5. Comment by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory on June 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    It’s something that everyone needs to be aware of, that’s for certain. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Comment by TITLE Boxing Club 148th & Metcalf on June 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Hopefully Mr. Douglas will bounce back from all of this. He seems in good hopes.

  7. Comment by TITLE Boxing Club Omaha on June 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    This is pretty shocking news, considering his lifestyle as a drinker and a smoker, but it’s good information about the seriousness of STD’s.

  8. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Cuyahoga Falls on June 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    It’s good for him to do this. Glad to see it.

  9. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Columbia, SC on June 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Getting tested is the way to be!

  10. Comment by ARCpoint Labs Of Kansas City on June 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    This isn’t the first I’ve heard about this story, and it’s truly unfortunate. Just goes to show that anyone can contract an STD without the proper precautions.

  11. Comment by ARCpoint Labs Of Lawrence on June 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    It’s sad to hear this news, and hopefully he can recover fully.

  12. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Overland Park on June 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Tragic news for him and his family. Hope he can overcome this adversity.

  13. Comment by TITLE Boxing Club of Tampa on June 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Tragic news for Michael and his family, hope this doesn’t turn towards the worst.

  14. Comment by LBA Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing on June 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    This was pretty shocking news. Hope he gets better.

  15. Comment by Ravgen on June 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    A good case, that STDs can cause more than just pains and sores.

  16. Comment by Fletcher, Rohrbaugh, & Chahine on June 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    This has to be pretty scary when hearing news like this. He seems to be handling pretty well.

  17. Comment by Fletcher, Rohrbaugh, & Chahine on June 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Good luck Michael Douglas. Hope he bounces back

  18. Comment by NSPJ Architects on June 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I never knew this about oral sex but I feel bad for Mr. Douglas. Hope all works out well

  19. Comment by Olympic Lawn & Landscape, INC. on June 12, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    It’s got to be pretty scary hearing you have cancer. Doesn’t matter how you get it.

  20. Comment by Climate Control on June 12, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Hoping nothing but the best for Mr. Douglas and family.

  21. Comment by AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care on June 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Such sad news hearing about this. Best wishes to him and family

  22. Comment by AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care on June 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Sad news, hope he recovers.

  23. Comment by AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care of Independence on June 13, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Oral sex can be very dangerous, and if this is true, it just goes to show, everyone needs to be aware.

  24. Comment by American Duct Cleaning on June 13, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    These stories are always sad. Hoping that he can recover.

  25. Comment by Twin Fitness on June 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    This is so tragic. Good luck, Michael Douglas

  26. Comment by Rudroff Heating & Air Conditioning on June 13, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    This is such sad news.

  27. Comment by TITLE Boxing Club Lenexa on June 13, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Good to know there is a vaccine, thanks for sharing this important information!

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