Actor Michael Douglas has drawn people’s attention to oral sex as a cause of cancer in a recent newspaper interview.
Human papillomaviruses, also known as HPVs are a group of more than 150 related viruses. Most can be easily spread through direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. It is understood HPV-16 is primarily responsible for oral cancer cases.
This double-stranded DNA virus infects the epithelial cells in all areas covered by skin and mucosa such as the mouth, throat, tongue, tonsils, vagina, penis, and anus.
This animation explains how the HPV virus infects the human body.
Oral Cancer Foundation