Regularly performing oral sex reportedly increases the likelihood of contracting several types of cancer by way of a common virus.
According to new reports, oral sex has been linked with human papillomavirus (HPV), which typically causes no harm.
However, in rare instances, HPV can lead to cancer due to the changes it triggers in infected cells.
Found in the penis, vagina, mouth and anus, the extremely common virus spreads by skin-to-skin contact in addition to sexual intercourse.
In a recent study conducted at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, researchers collected mouthwash samples from nearly 97,000 healthy people.
After four years, they found participants who were carrying HPV in their mouths were up to 22 times more likely to develop a tumour than those without HPV.
Researchers linked HPV to head and neck cancers, which were contracted by 132 participants.
Dr. Ilir Agalliu of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine reportedly said,
This study also showed using easily collected oral samples may help in predicting people’s risk for developing head and neck cancers.
Men and gay women are apparently have a higher chance of developing throat cancer because diseases are more easily contracted via cunnilingus as opposed to fellatio.
Be sure to read: Lesbian Safe Sex: How Much Do You Know?
Previous research also suggested smoking and drinking may increase the risk of HPV transmission.
Mouth and throat cancers reportedly affect approximately half a million people per year and kill about 150,000.
The Albert Einstein College of Medicine study was originally published in JAMA Oncology.