Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Are younger men shunning intercourse?

Men's oral cancer risk leaps 61 percent in four years — because of a shift in sexual habits

The risk of oral cancer in men has jumped dramatically.

Insurance claims from "a database of more than 21 billion privately billed medical and dental claims" show the reasons, according to an article this week by Ariana Eunjung Cha in The Washington Post.

With one of the main causes being "the cascading effect of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the United States."

The American Cancer Society has estimated some 50,000 Americans will be infected this year, with 9,500 dying from the disease.

The Post story, citing a report published by FAIR Health, disclosed that the increase in oral cancer from 2011 to 2015 was a startling 61 percent.

With the biggest increases coming in throat and tongue cancers.

During the period studied, those cancers were three times as prevalent in men as women, the Post piece noted.

In the past, oral cancer was linked mainly to smoking, alcohol use or a combination.

Now, the Post article maintained, changing sexual habits are a problem, with surveys showing "younger men are more likely to perform oral sex than their older counterparts and have a tendency to engage with more partners."

Dr. Gypsyamber D'Souza
According to Gypsyamber D'Souza, PhD., an associate professor in the Viral Oncology and Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health quoted by the Post, "These differences in sexual behavior…explain…why the rate of this cancer is increasing."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month recommended preteens 11 or 12 get vaccinated against HPV, noting that more teenagers and young adults "are engaging in oral sex than vaginal intercourse under the assumption that it's safer."

It's not, of course, unless only the possibility of pregnancy is being considered.

Information about disease prevention can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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