Can I Get Cancer From Oral Sex?

If at first you don’t succeed, lie, lie again.

I am not saying that this “Can I Get Cancer From Oral Sex” infographic is lying, but they are not telling the truth either or, at least, they are misrepresenting or distorting the facts, or presenting them in a less-than-useful manner. The main theme is that, although oral sex may not necessarily and directly leads to oral cancer, it often leads to HPV (Human papillomavirus) which, in turn leads to oral cancer. Various reports show that 70-80% or oral cancers are a result of HPV.

There is a great emphasis on increasing risks associated with HPV. For example, the relative risks of oral cancers and HPV are shown between men and women, as well as those who have had many sexual partners versus those who have had few.

But what does this mean in hard numbers? The graphic does provide a newspaper clipping showing that in 2010, there were 2,410 deaths from oropharyngeal cancer, of which 75% were the result of HPV. In other words, you can as much chance of dying from oral sex as you are from encountering a police officer. Yes, there is a horrific epidemic of people (as well as animals, and especially dogs, and especially pit bulls) killed by those who purportedly “fear for their lives” but in terms of percentages to the general population, there is not a large chance that any particular person will be killed in a specified year.

And, of course, virtually no chance of death is still the same as 10 times that chance.

Likes: There is a great amount of information–more than we had expected–and we especially appreciate the symptoms and preventative measures section.

Dislikes: The lack of hard numbers.

Infographic World created an infographic for Mount Sinai Hospital, on the very hot topic of the link between oral sex and cancer.
It’s a huge topic lately in the medical community.


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