How long should oral sex last

Does oral sex lead to oral tumors?

MAINZ (chh). In recent years, ENT medicine has recognized that alcohol and tobacco alone are not the main causes of malignant tumors in the head and neck area.

Studies have shown that a significant proportion of tumors in the mouth area have human papillomaviruses (HPV). The data situation varies.

While studies in the USA indicate 60% of carcinomas in the oropharynx as HPV-associated, the figures in Scandinavia are 90% of tonsil cancers, as Professor Jens P. Klussmann said in a video interview.

In Germany around 30% of oropharynx carcinomas are HPV-positive, mostly for virus type 16. In total, over 18,000 people in Germany develop head and neck tumors every year, which ranks fourth among cancers in men, according to the German Society for ENT medicine communicates.

Sexual risk factors likely

Similar to cervical cancer, researchers assume sexual risk factors for HPV-associated tumors in the mouth area.

"There are initial data showing that sexual risk factors for infection in the mouth area probably also play a role," said Klußmann, director of the University Clinic for ENT Medicine in Giessen.

In comparative studies, patients with an HPV-associated tumor in the oral cavity reported a higher number of sexual partners and a higher rate of oral sex practices than cancer patients without the virus infection.

However, Klußmann does not draw any preventive conclusions from this knowledge. Many years passed between infection and cancer, and only a fraction of infected patients ultimately developed a malignant tumor.

In addition, a large part of the population has contact with HPV at some point in life, but the virus gets rid of again.

Only when the virus infestation turns into a persistent infection and possibly also cofactors such as smoking would the research assume the development of a malignant tumor.

HPV vaccination for boys too?

Nevertheless, Klußmann sees possibilities for the prevention of HPV-positive tumors in the head and neck area.

The prophylactic effect of an HPV vaccination, as it is used to avoid cervical carcinoma, should with a high degree of probability also protect against HPV-positive tumors in the oral cavity.

But that has not been proven. In addition, boys would then also have to be vaccinated. After all, men are more likely to be affected by oral tumors.