Risk Factor: Throat cancer linked to virus spread by sex

10:45am, May 9, 2007

Cancer of the throat and tonsils can arise from infection with a sexually transmitted virus, a new study suggests.

Researchers report that the human papillomavirus (HPV) is much more likely to turn up in the throat cells of people with a malignancy called oropharyngeal cancer than in the throat cells of others. Moreover, the cancer patients were more apt to have engaged in oral sex with multiple partners over past years, suggesting a route of infection, the scientists report in the May 10 New England Journal of Medicine.

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