In a study published in NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine), Dr Maura Gillison of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and team suggested that people who have oral sex with at least 6 different partners have a significantly higher risk of developing throat cancer.
The team recruited 100 patients who had recently been diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer, as well as 200 "healthy" individuals (the control group).
They found that people who had at least 6 oral-sex partners during their lifetime were 3.4 times more likely to have throat cancer. Those with 26 or more vaginal-sex partners had a 3.1 times higher risk of developing throat cancer.
What are the risk factors for throat cancer?
Smoking - this is by far the most important risk factor for throat cancer. Regular, long-term, heavy smokers are 20 times more likely to develop some type of throat cancer compared to non-smokers.
Alcohol - heavy, chronic alcohol consumption, particularly spirits, also raises the risk of developing throat cancer.
People who do both - drink and smoke a lot - have the highest risk.
Frequent heartburn - non-drinkers and non-smokers who have frequent heartburn have a higher risk of developing cancers of the throat and vocal cord.
Written by Christian Nordqvist
Not to be reproduced without permission.