oral sex

Health Experts Praise Michael Douglas For His Oral Cancer Revelation

June 3rd, 2013 7:20pm EDT
Source: starpulse.com


Michael Douglas


Health experts have commended Michael Douglas for speaking out about link between throat cancer and oral sex.

The 68 year-old actor, who endured a six-month battle with the illness, hit headlines over the weekend when he voiced his belief that his cancer was caused by HPV, the human papillomavirus, which can be contracted through oral sex.

The Behind The Candelabra star told Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, “Without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus… I mean, I did worry if the stress caused by my son’s incarceration didn’t help trigger it. But yeah, it’s a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer. And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it.”

Douglas’ frank admission has now won him praise from Brian Hill, executive director of Oral Cancer Foundation, who tells the New York Post, “I’m really quite proud of Michael saying this. This (oral sex) is not an aberrant sexual behavior. But the willingness to talk about this openly can be difficult.”

The actor recorded a public service announcement for the Oral Cancer Foundation last year.


*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

June, 2013|OCF In The News|

The Man’s Guide to HPV

Source: Men’s Health
By: Melaina Juntti

What men can do about HPV


What men can do about HPV

Michael Douglas caught major flak for saying oral sex gave him throat cancer. But if you’re laughing, it’s time to grow up. Oral cancers caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) have skyrocketed 225 percent in the past 15 years, with men accounting for 75 percent of all cases. The number-one culprit: HPV passed via oral sex.

It used to be that cigarettes caused most of these cancers. But since smoking rates have plummeted over the past few decades, and we’re having way more oral sex today than even our fathers’ generation, HPV has become the most common STD in the U.S. – inevitably leading to more oral cancer cases. It only takes one time going down on someone to contract HPV, and experts estimate that 80 percent of us will be exposed to the virus at some point in our lives. This STD sometimes causes genital warts, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that’s not very common. In most cases, HPV has no symptoms. And since no test exists to detect HPV in guys, you won’t know you have the virus until years later – if it turns into cancer.

“It’s very hard to determine when you acquired HPV,” says Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University. “It doesn’t usually come from just one sexual episode. That said, every once in a while, cancer develops within two years of when you think you acquired HPV. But most often it comes 10, 12, even 20 years later.”

Still, not all HPV cases lead to oral cancer. Far from it. So even though the rapidly rising prevalence of these cancers is scary – and nothing we should take lightly – we need to keep the actual risk in perspective. “It’s true that within the world of oral cancer, HPV-caused cases have become an epidemic,” says Brian Hill, executive director of the Oral Cancer Foundation. “They are rapidly increasing at a rate never seen before, and it’s going to get much worse by 2020. However, in the grand scope of the U.S. population, the term ‘epidemic’ is overstating the reality. Only a small percentage of sexually active people wind up with an HPV-related oral cancer. For 99 percent of those who get HPV, their immune system clears it within 12 to 24 months, and that’s that. So we have to look at the relative risk. Don’t stop having sex. That’s not an appropriate response.”

So what is the right response? To protect yourself without killing your sex life, there are HPV vaccines like Gardisil. These are proven to protect against HPV-caused anal and cervical cancers, and doctors overwhelmingly believe they also prevent oral cancers. However, the CDC recommends vaccination only for men under age 26, and most insurance plans won’t cover it for older guys. Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should rule out the vaccine if you’re past 26.

“The CDC’s recommendations are based on a generality,” Schaffner says. “Statistics show that most guys, by age 26, have had multiple sexual partners and have probably been exposed to HPV. But every individual is different. A guy may have been in a long-term monogamous relationship that’s ended, and now he’s reentering the social scene and going to have sex. It won’t do him any harm to get immunized. Insurance probably won’t cover the vaccine, but he can certainly pay the $300 to $400 out of pocket.”

But if you’ve had a handful of partners – and, if the stats are correct, have probably already come in contact with HPV – the decision boils down to whether you want that extra piece of mind, says Schaffner. After all, you could be one of the lucky few who’s had lots of sex but never been exposed. “It’s kind of like wearing a belt and suspenders,” he explains. “Wearing both may be unnecessary, but at least can be sure your pants won’t fall down. By getting the vaccine, you know you’ve done everything you can to protect yourself from HPV.”

Besides being immunized, which only spares you from HPV if you haven’t been exposed, you should limit your sexual partners and always use protection. But even then, condoms and dental dams aren’t surefire HPV blockers, Schaffner says, because you can get the virus from skin-to-skin contact. “HPV can be present on the penis shaft and vaginal lips, not just on mucus membranes, semen, or vaginal fluid,” he says. “Therefore, condoms – both male and female types – are very helpful, but they don’t offer complete protection, even if they’re used as directed and don’t break.”

Schaffner says gay men aren’t necessarily at less risk of oral cancer just because they’re not performing oral sex on women. It has more to do with how often a guy has sex and how many different men he’s slept with. However, the CDC says gay and bisexual men are 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer – also caused by HPV – than men who only sleep with women.

Even if you already have HPV – and don’t know it – you can take steps to decrease your chances of oral cancer. Schaffner says to stop smoking immediately and cut back on booze. “We’re not sure why, but smoking and drinking too much both increase HPV’s likelihood of developing into cancer,” he explains.

To be safe, you should also be on the lookout for early signs of oral cancer, which tend to be subtle, so guys often ignore them, says Hill. Unlike tobacco-caused oral cancers, which present in visible symptoms like white lesions or red spots on the tongue, HPV-related cancer cells love lymph tissue and the way back of your tongue. “HPV-caused oral cancers have very stealthy signs, so you really have to pay attention if you feel changes,” he says.

Here’s what to look for: “If you notice it’s become more difficult to swallow, or you’re suddenly always hoarse or have a sore throat, those are definite cancer red flags, and you need to get examined,” Hill says. “Also, if a lymph node in your neck becomes enlarged – and it’s painless – that’s a warning sign of cancer starting inside the mouth and spreading to your neck. When lymph nodes swell up from ear infections or abscessed teeth, they hurt. But these ones don’t. And if you can’t push it around, that’s a definite sign.”

Thankfully, all you dads and future fathers can help spare your sons from these health issues. Get them vaccinated long before they wind up going down on a girl in the back seat of your car. “Don’t put it off until they’re 17,” Schaffner says. “Have them immunized when they’re 11.”


*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

June, 2013|OCF In The News|

Michael Douglas pleased that oral sex story raised public awareness

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 18:40 EDT
Source: The Raw Story 










Michael Douglas said he would win a Nobel prize if he knew exactly what caused his throat cancer, in fresh comments Tuesday after a dispute with a British newspaper over an interview he gave.

The “Fatal Attraction” star, whose spokesman already denied he blamed his throat cancer specifically on oral sex, also said that, regardless, he was happy to raise awareness about causes of the killer disease.

“I never expected to become a poster boy for head and neck cancer,” Douglas said in comments issued by a representative.

“But, if after what started out as trying to answer a couple of questions about the suspected sources of this disease results in opening up discussion and furthering public awareness, then I’ll stand by that.”

In an interview with Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Douglas, who stars in the just-released biopic of flamboyant entertainer Liberace, “Behind The Candelabra,” said his cancer was caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

“Without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus,” he said, in comments the newspaper said amounted to blaming oral sex for his cancer.

Douglas’s spokesman Allen Burry said Monday that the 68-year-old actor was talking in general, not personal terms.

“This is not the cause of his cancer,” he said.

On Tuesday, Douglas himself added: “Head and neck cancer can be caused by many things including HPV virus, smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, genes, environment and stress. I do not know what caused my particular cancer.”

“If I did I’d have a Nobel Prize. I do know that I am here today because of all the incredible advances in cancer research and treatment. Early awareness is a key factor.”

“If this episode contributes to public awareness, all the better,” he said.

The British newspaper stuck to its guns over the issue, posted an audio clip of the interview on its website and insisted that Douglas had been referring to his own cancer being caused by cunnilingus.

“The Guardian firmly denies this charge of misrepresentation. Mr Burry was not present at the (interview); the only two people present were Mr Douglas and the Guardian writer, Xan Brooks,” the paper noted online.


*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.


June, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

ASCO: Actor’s Oral Sex Remarks May Aid HPV Prevention

By: Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer
Published: June 03, 2013
Source: MedPage Today


CHICAGO — Actor Michael Douglas’ apparent claim that he got throat cancer from human papillomavirus (HPV) contracted through oral sex may help aid prevention efforts, experts suggested.

Douglas, now 68, was diagnosed with a “walnut-sized” stage IV tumor at the base of his tongue in 2010 after months of oral discomfort. His well-known tobacco and alcohol habits — both risk factors for oropharyngeal cancers — had been thought to be the cause, but he appeared to indicate otherwise in an interview appearing in British tabloid The Guardian yesterday.

While one of his representatives has since challenged that interpretation of the interview, the spotlight on HPV as a cause of cancer should promote awareness of the need for HPV vaccination, head and neck cancer and HPV specialists contacted here at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting said.

“It’s no surprise to physicians such as myself, because probably 80% of the tonsil and tongue cancers I see are related to HPV,” Eric Moore, MD, an oropharyngeal cancer specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., noted in an interview with MedPage Today.

Most adults become exposed to the virus at some point but clear it like any other infection. Those who become chronically infected are at elevated risk of cervical, anal, and head and neck cancers, particularly from subtype 16.

The tonsils and base of tongue are the predominant areas affected in the head and neck because of the deep pockets in the tissue there that allows the virus a foothold, similar to the cervix, Moore explained.

Oral sexual contact is how HPV is thought to spread to the mouth and throat, and men appear to more readily acquire the virus from women than women do from men, as is true in other sexually transmitted infections, noted William Schaffner, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

While many patients worry about who they may have gotten the virus from and who they have given it to, clinicians can reassure patients that testing family members and partners isn’t necessary.

“It’s impossible to know in people with multiple sexual partners how they got it,” he said. “If you went back and tested their partners, you wouldn’t even know because they may have cleared the infection.”

Moreover, there isn’t an established and reliable test for oral HPV unlike for the cervix.

Examination of the mouth, tongue, and head and neck lymph nodes during a dental exam should help catch oropharyngeal cancers at an early stage, Schaffner noted.

But there isn’t a treatment for chronic HPV infection or any evidence supporting HPV testing for nonsymptomatic individuals, added Marcia Brose, MD, PhD, a head and neck cancer specialist at the Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

“We’re not even near that yet,” she told MedPage Today.

But those considerations make prevention all the more important, and for that reason public awareness of Douglas’ case could be helpful, Schaffner said.

“It will generate many conversations,” he said. “I don’t believe it will change a great deal of behavior, but certainly knowledge that HPV is increasing and HPV is a cause of cancers may make understandable CDC recommendation that all children should be vaccinated against HPV.”

Brose and Moore agreed that physicians can take advantage of conversations about HPV- and oral-sex-related risk to promote vaccination of adolescents.

“It’s not as clear cut whether adults should be vaccinated,” Moore noted. “After you’ve already seen the virus, the vaccine doesn’t work because you’ve already been ‘auto-vaccinated’ by clearing the virus.”

*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

June, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

It’s True. You Can Get Throat Cancer From Oral Sex

By: Alexandra Sifferlin
June 03, 2013
Source: TIME


On Sunday, in an interview with the Guardian, actor Michael Douglas revealed that his throat cancer was not caused by tobacco and alcohol, but by HPV, which was transmitted through oral sex. He has since called the statement a misunderstanding, but it’s still true: you can get throat cancer from HPV.

In an eye-poppingly candid interview with the Guardian’s Xan Brooks, Douglas, who is married to actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, allegedly told the reporter his cancer was caused by the STD:

The throat cancer, I assume, was first seeded during those wild middle years, when he drank like a fish and smoked like the devil. Looking back, knowing what he knows now, does he feel he overloaded his system?

“No,” he says. “No. Because, without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”

From what? For a moment I think that I may have misheard.

“From cunnilingus. I mean, I did worry if the stress caused by my son’s incarceration didn’t help trigger it. But yeah, it’s a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer.” He shrugs. “And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it.”

Right, I say. OK. So what he is suggesting is that it all evens out? “That’s right,” says Douglas. “It giveth and it taketh.”

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that can cause genital warts or present itself without symptoms. If left untreated, it can also cause cancers of the cervix, anus, penis, vulva, vagina — and head and neck cancers. “HPV being a cause of head and neck cancer was really only accepted about five years ago,” says Dr. Maura Gillison, a professor at the Ohio State University who studies HPV infections in the head, throat and neck. “Before then, no one really cared about oral HPV infections.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 60% of oropharyngeal cancers — cancers of the throat, tonsils and the base of tongue — are related to HPV. It is estimated that every year in the U.S., more than 2,370 new cases of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers are diagnosed in women and about 9,356 are diagnosed in men; they are most common in white men.

“It is a known phenomenon,” says Gillison. “In the U.S., there is an active shift going on. Fortunately thanks to tobacco policy and public-health awareness, the incidence rate for the classical head and neck cancer caused by smoking is declining. But unfortunately, the rate of oropharynx cancer is still going up and it’s because of the HPV component.”

In 2011, Gillison and her colleagues conducted a study looking at the proportion of oropharynx cancers associated with HPV over time in the U.S. The proportion increased from 16% to 72% from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. “The incidence is rising pretty rapidly in the U.S.,” says Gillison. “Approximately 10% per year, particularly among Caucasian middle-age men.”

HPV-related throat cancer presents similarly to tobacco- and alcohol-related throat cancer, but they are considered two separate diseases, says Gillison. There are about 15 different HPV types that are established causes of cancer. The most common are HPV 16 and 18, accounting for about 70% of cervical cancers. “For oral infection, we find the same types of HPV in the oral cavity as we do in the cervix or genital region for men, but the infection is considerably less common,” says Gillison.

Oral HPV doesn’t benefit from the comprehensive testing and preventative procedures established for HPV of the cervix. Women who get regular Pap smears are quickly tested for cancerous changes that may be caused by HPV of the cervix.

“When HPV was recognized to be the cause of cervical cancer, the entire algorithm for doing Pap smears and referring a patient to a gynecologist was already established,” says Gillison. “The researchers were able to just piggyback all of their analysis and testing for HPV on the cervix onto something that was already established in the field. For oral, there is no established screening algorithm so there is no piggybacking onto routine clinical care.”

There is currently no method to routinely test for oral HPV, nor is there a way to test men for genital HPV. Researchers are working on developing clinical tests for the virus, which is among the most common STDs: researchers say most sexually active people will likely have an HPV infection at some point, but many never know. The infection doesn’t always present symptoms, and typically clears the body in one to two years.

According to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, it is estimated that 20 million people in the U.S. currently have HPV infection, and 1 in 49 people will contract a new HPV infection each year.

Physicians recommend the HPV vaccine for both young boys and girls to prevent infection from the disease.


* This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

June, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Fact check: Michael Douglas on HPV and throat cancer

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com
Author: Meredith Melnick

A Michael Douglas interview in The Guardian caused waves when the publication reported that the “Behind the Candelabra” star revealed HPV, the human papilloma virus, to be the cause of his stage-4 throat cancer diagnosis in 2010.

“Without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus,” Douglas allegedly told The Guardian.

Douglas, through his publicist, has said that the statement was misinterpreted: He wasn’t saying that his cancer was caused by the sexually transmitted disease — merely that many cancers like his are HPV-positive. As The Daily Beast points out, there is scant research evidence to directly link the act of cunnilingus with HPV infection. But regardless of the details of his own cancer, the actor is right about one thing: A growing majority of oral cancer cases are caused by HPV.

While most strains of HPV clear up on their own, the sexually transmitted disease is responsible for an array of cancers. As Douglas describes, it’s true that oral sex is an avenue through which a person can contract HPV and especially the strains, HPV-18 and HPV-16, the latter of which is responsible for half of oral cancer cases, according to the National Cancer Institute. HPV-16, HPV-18 and some less-common strains can also cause cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus and penis.

Douglas’ experience follows trends in cancer diagnosis, according to a January report from the American Cancer Society, which found a rise in oral cancer caused by HPV in both women and men. As the report said, as of 2004, 72 percent of oral cancer tumors were HPV-positive — up from 16 percent of tumors in data collected between 1984 and 1989.

Previously, excessive drinking and tobacco use were the most common causes of the throat cancer Douglas developed, but HPV has replaced tobacco as the leading cause of throat cancers. HPV’s rise as the leading cause of oral cancer is not just the result of growing rates of the virus — it is also explained by drops in smoking, thanks to public health campaigns that describe the dangers of cigarette use.

HPV-16 and 18 are targeted by the vaccine Cervarix and are two of the four strains targeted by Gardasil, the other of the two approved vaccines against HPV. Gardasil is currently recommended for boys between the ages of 13 and 21 and both Cervarix and Gardasil are recommended for girls, aged 13 to 26, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HPV-6 and HPV-11, both of which the Gardasil vaccine immunizes against, cause about 90 percent of genital warts cases.

Despite the growing rates of oral cancer, cases like Douglas’ are still relatively rare, with about 7,100 new cases each year, reported USA Today. But that doesn’t mean oral HPV infection is rare: According to a 2012 study of Americans, aged 14 to 69, about 10 percent of men and 3.6 percent of women currently have an oral HPV infection.

According to the CDC, there is no screening test to determine overall HPV status. While women are screened for HPV-associated cervical cancer via a Pap-smear test, other HPV-associated cancers don’t have a specific screening test. Despite the fact that there are no uniform screening techniques for oral cancer, the prognosis for the disease is good, with an 80 to 90 percent survival rate, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation.

Michael Douglas: Oral sex gave me cancer

Source: NewYork Post
Last Updated: 11:31 AM, June 3, 2013
Posted: 8:49 PM, June 2, 2013

Michael Douglas has made a jaw-dropping revelation about his throat cancer: He didn’t contract it from smoking or drinking — but from oral sex.

The Oscar-winning Hollywood star set tongues wagging after he told The Guardian newspaper that he contracted HPV, or human papillomavirus, through a sex act and it developed into cancer.

“Without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus,” he told the British newspaper in an interview published yesterday.

After Douglas was diagnosed with the life-threatening illness in 2010, he said on “Late Show with David Letterman” that the kind of cancer he had was caused by smoking and drinking.

 Ghetty Images


Actor Michael Douglas said a virus from oral sex, not booze and cigarettes, gave him throat cancer.

In yesterday’s interview, the 68-year-old actor speculated that his son Cameron’s legal woes may have borne some responsibility, too.

“I did worry if the stress caused by my son’s incarceration didn’t help trigger it,” the “Wall Street” actor said of Cameron Douglas, who is serving 10 years in a federal prison for heroin possession and distribution.

“But, yeah, it’s a sexually transmitted disease that causes [the] cancer.”

A cancer-awareness advocate hailed Douglas for his blunt talk.

“I’m really quite proud of Michael saying this,” Brian Hill, executive director of the Oral Cancer Foundation, told The Post yesterday.

“This [oral sex] is not an aberrant sexual behavior. But the willingness to talk about this openly can be difficult.”

Douglas cut a public-service announcement for the Oral Cancer Foundation last year.

The actor didn’t disclose the cause of this throat cancer to foundation officials.

The group’s director said Douglas’ oral-sex admission doesn’t surprise him — because that’s how Hill contracted his own cancer.

“My wife cringes every time I talk about it, because I’m talking about our sex life,” Hill said.

Reps for Douglas and his actress wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, could not be reached for comment.

Yesterday’s Guardian report didn’t address whether Douglas contracted the virus through contact with his 43-year-old spouse.

Douglas has been in the spotlight following the release last month of the HBO movie “Behind the Candelabra,” in which he stars as Liberace alongside Matt Damon.

The actor-producer has said he’s had success battling the ailment and has been cancer-free for more than two years.

Douglas has said several specialists missed his cancer and gave him antibiotics to treat ongoing oral discomfort.

Finally, a friend’s doctor in Montreal whipped out a tongue depressor, took one look inside the actor’s mouth and saw trouble.

“I will always remember the look on his face,” Douglas has said.

“He said, ‘We need a biopsy.’ There was a walnut-size tumor at the base of my tongue that no other doctor had seen.”

* This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.



HPV and oral cancer

Source: myfoxny.com
Date: Feb 21, 2013 4:02 PM PST  Updated: Feb 25, 2013 2:07 PM PST


Oral cancer is being diagnosed at near epidemic proportions, and in many cases it strikes those people who would least suspect it.

At 28, Jessica Tar appeared young and healthy. That is why she was floored to find out she had oral cancer; a small tumor was growing on her tongue.

“It was just this raised area, and pain from time to time,” Tar says.

They are symptoms many of may have ignored, but thankfully Jessica did not. Her cancer was caught early and had not spread.

She went to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Dr. Jatin Shah for treatment. He recommended a surgery to remove part of her tongue, an aggressive treatment that threatened her career as an actress and singer.

“They tell you your mouth is going to be rearranged. The tip of your tongue, where you thought it once was, it won’t be there anymore,” Tar says.

Jessica Tar was anxious to get back to work, so she underwent extensive speech therapy. The hardest thing for her to pronounce was the letter S.

Jessica knew she want to work hard at it and she had the ultimate motivation, a specific name in mind for her daughter on the way.

“I said to my speech therapist if I can’t improve on these S’s I don’t think I’m going to name her Kalista, but I got better and the day she was born, we named her Kalista.”

Today Jessica is cancer-free, but doctors have never been able to pinpoint the cause of her cancer. “When you think of oral cancer the picture that comes to into your head is someone who smokes and drinks heavily. I’m neither of those things,” Tar says.

Even Dr. Shah was surprised by Jessica’s cancer diagnosis. Smoking and drinking are the most common risk factors, but that is changing.

The biggest risk factor now is the sexually transmitted virus called HPV, the same virus that can cause cervical cancer. Jessica did not have HPV, either.

But many being diagnosed now do. The Oral Cancer Foundation says 40,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone, the majority of those cases will be tied to HPV.

“Of the 100 patients coming in today with oral pharynx cancer I would say 80 percent will be HPV-positive,” says Dr. Shah.

And experts say that number is climbing in almost epidemic proportions.

Celebrities Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Blythe Danner are helping spread the work about the potentially deadly disease.

Michael Douglas has battled oral cancer for several years.

Bruce Paltrow, Gwenth’s father and Blythe Danner’s husband, died from it download illustrator cs6.

“There is an epidemic of oral cancer among young people, unfortunately due to oral sex,” says Blythe Danner.

It’s not just young people, you can live with HPV for years and never know you have it, there is no way to screen for the virus and in most cases it doesn’t have any symptoms.

That is why at 52, Kevin Pruyne’s oral cancer diagnosis was a shock.

“I went to see my general doctor and she felt like it was just an infection or something like that and did the antibiotics,” says Kevin Pruyne.

After several months and rounds of antibiotics, Kevin’s ‘infection’ seemed to be getting worse.

Finally a CT scan and biopsy determined Kevin had stage 4 cancer, the cause?

The sexually transmitted virus HPV, Kevin didn’t know he had it or that it could cause cancer.

“You don’t talk about it but we have been monogamous for 30 years,” Kevin says.

Kevin and his wife, Kathy, were worried the cancer had taken too long to diagnose.

“If it’s gone past your collar bone and into your lungs its game over,” Kevin says.

Thankfully the cancer hadn’t reached his lungs. Kevin underwent an aggressive treatment of radiation and chemotherapy.

“He was sick, he was really sick and it was hard to see and watch him vomiting becoming less of the strong man that he was,” Kathy says.

Doctors say HPV-positive cancers are typically curable. A couple of months ago Kevin got the good news he is cancer free, but he still worries.

“You say what is my prognosis, you make up 5 years we will call you cured unless it pops up somewhere else,” Kevin says.

Kevin wishes he knew the dangers of HPV. Now he is warning everyone he knows.

“I’ve got some guys that I work with that are younger and have a tendency to be a bit more promiscuous than they should so I sent a letter saying listen this is what caused my cancer and you all need to be careful,” Kevin says.

The early symptoms of oral cancer, like a sore throat can easily go undetected, so early screening is important.

Dentists are now starting to do comprehensive oral cancer screenings.

Upper East Side Doctor Robert Friedman uses a florescent light to look for irregularities in the mouth.

“Your dentist is your mouth specialist,” Dr. Friedman says. “Dentists really should be the first line of detection of these types of known entities.”

Fluorescent light cancer screenings aren’t covered by most dental insurance policies, but it typically costs only $25.

There is a vaccine against HPV, Gardasil, which can be administered to pre-pubescent girls and boys.

A screening will be held in April:
Thursday, April 25, 2013
9:00 am – 12:00 Noon
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Enid A. Haupt Pavilion
425 East 67th Street
Fourth Floor, Suite 5
Between York and First Avenues

No appointment necessary. For further information, call 646-497-9161.

For More Information:



* This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.



Dentists asked to help in curbing mouth cancer


The increasing cases of oral cancer have pushed the Cancer Research UK to ask dentists to look for cancer related symptoms in their patients. By checking the mouth properly, dentists can gauge whether or not a person is prone of developing mouth cancer.

Mouth cancer can be lethal if timely treatment isn’t provided to the patients. Smoking and heavy drinking could be one of the reasons behind causing mouth cancer. Chewing tobacco is yet again contributing to mouth cancer. While examining the patients, the dentists have been advised to look for cancer contributing factors.

It is estimated that by 2030 there will be an increase in the number of mouth cancer patients. People under the age group of 50 years are growing becoming victim of mouth cancer. Oral sex is yet another factor that could lead to mouth cancer.

People need to be made aware about the growing incidences of mouth cancer so that innocent lives could be saved. Avoiding heavy drinking, smoke and unhygienic oral sex can help in preventing mouth cancer. Besides, dentists can also help in saving lives by detecting mouth cancer earlier through regular checkups. It is hoped that the dentists will take serious note of the recommendations.

September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Fewer teens having oral sex

Source: CNN.com

Fewer teens aged 15 to 17 are having oral sex now than in 2002, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, but the number remains high.

The report, based on data from The National Survey of Family Growth, found that more than a third of teens had engaged in oral sex by the time they turned 17. That number climbed to almost 50% by age 19, and more than 80% for 24-year-olds.

The study – based on computer surveys given to over 6,000 teens – also looked at the timing of first oral sex in relation to the timing of first vaginal intercourse. It found that the prevalence of having oral sex before vaginal intercourse was about the same as those having vaginal intercourse before oral sex.

“This new CDC analysis debunks many myths about when young people are initiating oral sex,” wrote Leslie Kantor, vice president for education at Planned Parenthood, a family planning advocacy group. “Although there has never been data to support it, there has been the perception that many teens engage in oral sex as a ‘risk-free’ alternative to intercourse. But the CDC analysis shows that sexually active young people are likely to engage in both activities,” she wrote.

How Americans view teen sex

But oral sex, like vaginal intercourse, is not risk-free. According to the CDC’s website, “numerous studies have demonstrated that oral sex can result in the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted disease,” not the least of which is Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the disease known to cause both cervical and some throat cancers.

“It’s widely accepted that there is an increased number of head and neck cancers today due to changes in sexual practices in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s,” – specifically, an increase in oral sex, said Dr. Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

Regardless of whether teens have oral or vaginal sex first, Kantor says, it’s imperative they have the knowledge to make an educated decision about their sexual health.

“We need to make sure that young people have the skills to negotiate what they do and don’t want to do in sexual relationships, as well as education about and access to condoms and birth control so that they can protect themselves from STDs and pregnancy and remain healthy,” she wrote.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

August, 2012|Oral Cancer News|