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- BAHNO surgeon discusses oral sex cancer risk for men
Young men urged to take up new vaccine after oral sex link to oral cancer confirmed.
The Government announced in July plans to extend vaccination against the human papilloma virus to boys between 12 and 13 after a rise in the number of men suffering head and neck cancers.
Consultant Bhavin Visavadia from Northwick Park Hospital in Watford Road, Harrow, says men performing oral sex on women are putting themselves at risk.
Mr Visavadia said: “There has been a noticeable increase in recent years and oropharyngeal cancer can be triggered by contracting the human papilloma virus, which is a common cause of cervical cancer in women.
Oral sex is the obvious candidate for transmission to men as the virus is found in the female cervix.”
Head and neck cancer is now the seventh most common type of cancer in Europe.
These cancers, usually associated with older men who are heavy drinkers and smokers, are becoming common in younger males between 40 and 50.
According to medical journal Annals of Oncology, 15 per cent of men who smoked and had five or more oral sex partners were most likely to get HPV; while the lowest risk group were those who had one or no oral sex partners.
The extension of the vaccine to boys follows England’s HPV vaccination programme for girls and gay men.
The programme is expected to vaccinate thousands of boys in England each year.
Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: “As a father to a son, I understand the relief that this will bring to parents.”
“The HPV vaccine for girls is already expected to save hundreds of lives every year."
"I am delighted that we will now be protecting even more people from this devastating disease by extending the vaccines to boys."
“We are committed to leading a world-class vaccination programme and achieving some of the best cancer outcomes in the world – I am confident these measures today will bring us one step further to achieving this goal.”
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