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Doctors’ advice: No to oral sex

The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) warned the public on Wednesday that oral sex with multiple partners could lead to oral cancer and other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea and syphilis. PMA President Leo Olarte said more than 50 percent of oral cancer were caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that also cause genital warts among men and women. “If between husband and wife, oral sex is OK because it involves only one person. But multiple partners should be avoided,” Olarte said. Oral sex became a hot topic in the Philippines in the past few days after actor Michael Douglas told the Guardian newspaper of Great Britain that he contracted throat cancer after performing oral sex on women. The 68-year-old Douglas has been free of cancer after extensive chemotherapy treatment. A recent survey showed more than four million Filipinos with ages from 15 to 24 are sexually active. Oral sex is common practice among sexually adventurous teens. Olarte said HPG could still be contracted by one of the married couple if the husband or the wife is a carrier of the disease, which also cause cervical cancer among women. “There are several classes of oral sex. It’s already generic when we say that one has oropharyngeal cancer from HPG or communicable disease coming from oral sex,” Olarte said. Dr. Vic Fileto Chua, a convenor of the Movement for Early Detection of Cancer, said oral sex can lead to various infections of the oral cavity and recurrent infections of the mouth can result to formation of oral cancers. “This same virus can cause oral cancers in both men and women who are engaged in oral sex. Sexually transmitted diseases like herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia can also cause serious irritations of the buccal cavity and the repeated infections can lead to cancers of the mouth,” Chua said. Douglas, who is married to actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, attributed his illness to HPV virus through oral sex and said: Without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes from cunnilingus.” His spokesman Allen Burry later clarified Douglas’ statement and said the actor never said that oral sex was the cause of his own cancer, but it was just one of the many causes. “In a discussion with the newspaper, they talked about the causes of oral cancer, one of which was oral sex, which is noted and has been known for a while now,” Burry said. According to the American Association for Cancer Research, their studies showed that the incidence of squamous cell cancers of the mouth and throat is rising in Europe, America, and other countries of the world.
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