HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer, is also linked to throat cancer, and oral sex is a major risk factor for both men and women, new research shows.
The new study shows that oral HPV infection is linked to head and neck cancer. The researchers were also surprised to find that heavy smoking and drinking did not seem to add to the risk in people with evidence of oral HPV infection.
This was a very small study of 88 people but it made all the nightly network news. Merk Pharmaceuticals makes Gardasil, a vaccine that protects against some types of HPV but not all. One can only assume that Merk will use this study to push for legislation to make this vaccine mandatory in teens.