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Health & Nutrition

Oral Sex Might be Leading to Increase in Neck, Head Cancer: Sorry L.A. Porn Stars

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Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 9:19 AM

click to enlarge Tongue is a possible gateway to cancer. - HYSTERICAL BERTHA
  • Hysterical Bertha
  • Tongue is a possible gateway to cancer.
More bad news for L.A.'s embattled porn-star community. First an HIV scare puts them out of work temporarily. Then testing at their favorite health clinic is shut down by the state. Now comes word that oral sex might be linked to a rise in head and neck cancer.

That's right, HPV, a.k.a papillomavirus, or genital warts, can set off those cancers, researchers say.

Bummer. And while head and neck cancers are going down as a result of anti-smoking efforts, cancers of the tonsil and at the base of the tongue are increasing. Ya heard, Charlie Sheen ...

... cancers at the base of the tongue. (At least someone's doing it right).

William Lydiatt, professor and chief of head and neck surgical oncology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center tells USA Today that "60 to 70 percent of all tonsil cancers in the U.S. are HPV-related," Lydiatt said.

That's almost 69 percent, people. Look alive.

The is especially bad news for the porn industry, which has been under attack for its lack of condom use. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation wants the state to enforce mandatory condoms on-set. What's next, dental dams? That's hot stuff.

The increase has been happening since 1973 and, yes, researchers think younger people have more oral sex than their forebears (Charlie Sheen vs. Martin Sheen; Bristol Palin vs. Sarah Palin, etc., theoretically) so, eh, pat yourselves on the top of your heads, kids.

But don't worry, Charlie.

Researchers say these cancers are easier to treat than others if caught early. So next time you have an upset stomach, Charlie, have the docs check out your tongue -- just in case.

These cancers "have been a lot easier to treat. You can use less-intensive radiation," Dr. D.J. Verret, clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, told USA Today.

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