CSN Login
Members Online: 14

HPV Infographic from Mt. Sinai Medical Center

blackswampboy's picture
blackswampboy
Posts: 341
Joined: Jul 2012

Nothing new, but it packs a lot of info.

Can I Get Cancer from Oral Sex?

Can I get cancer from oral sex?

AirForce Vet's picture
AirForce Vet
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2012

 great material thanks for putting it out there.  Going to show this to my son who is 17 and wants to join the Marines.  Will try to convince him to get the vaccine before he makes the same mistakes his old man did while roaming the world in the military and before getting married!!!

 

Thanks

Joe

ooo's picture
ooo
Posts: 107
Joined: Mar 2012

Hi Blackswampboy,

 

First of all thank you for posting the infographics, it's always good to look at the big picture once in a while.

 

But please allow me to make a few comments on the accuracy of what is presented, starting from the headline "Can I get cancer from oral sex? Yes".. hopefully I will convince you that there's nothing in the infographics that supports the claim, only a bunch of numbers of dubious origin and broken implications.

 

1. The infographics claims that "HPV infections have led to a four-to-five fold increase in the number of tonsillary and base of tongue cancers, particularly among young men."

 

But the official statistics from the National Cancer Institute show a decrease in the incidence of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx ( http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/oralcav.html , "Trends in Rates section"). Not exactly a statistics for tonsillary and base of tongue cancers, but it makes the statement above a bit suspicious.

It could be that there is an increase of HPV+ oral cancers, but this could simply be because there is an increse in HPV infections while the number of cancers remains almost constant. If anything this argues *against* HPV causing cancers.

 

2. "Oral cancers alone still kill 8,000 people in the U.S. every year." AND "the National Cancer Institute estimated that there were 12,660 cases of oropharyngeal cancer resulting in 2,410 deaths."

If 8,000 patients die of oral cancers I'd expect even more people to die of oro*pharyngeal* cancers, not 2,410. The numbers just don't add up.

 

3. The infographics claims "General oral cancers are about 2 times more common in men than women". And this is fine. But then it says that "HPV-related cancers are 6-7 times more common in men than women". This might even be true, but it certailny doesn't imply whatever the infographics want you to believe! What if men are just 6-7 times more likely to have an oral HPV infection than women (regardless of them having cancer or not)? It's like saying "Toyotas are far less reliable than Jaguars because every year 6-7 times more Toyotas than Jaguars break down". I hope everyone can see the fallacy in this statement. And low and behold, a quick google search brought me to this:

"The study, which is the first to examine the prevalence of oral HPV in the U.S., found that three times as many men (10%) as women (3.6%) have HPV infections." ( from http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/27/men-are-more-likely-to-have-oral-hpv-than-women/#ixzz2IpurI9z6 )

It's a factor of 3, not 6-7 but, once again, the alleged implications of that sections are not really solid after some basic scrutiny.

 

4. "Smokers are 3 times more likely [to contract HPV] than those who never had oral sex". What??? This is an apple to oranges comparison. Unless the author thinks that *all* smokers had oral sex..

 

5. "If you have any of the symptoms of throat or oral cancer, use tobacco and alcohol regularly, and have five or more sexual partners, talk to your doctor". This is an example of pseudo-scientific claims giving a false sense of safety. I would write instead "If you have any of the symptoms of throat or oral cancer talk to your doctor *even if* you don't use tobacco and alcohol regularly, and no sexual partners". And for the record I didn't drink, smoke or tested positive for HPV ;)

 

Just to be clear, I'm not claiming that there is no implication of HPV in oral cancer. I'm just saying that the infographics does not provide any evidence in this direction. And from the original literature I read a few months ago the topic appears to be still controversial to say the least. Most of the claims I've seen see about HPV causing oral cancers seems to be of the internet-meme variety more than the conclusions from a serious scientific study. If you guys know of some careful analysis, feel free to share it.

 

Once again, I really appreciated the post. It's only by discussing about things that we get good at calling BS when we see it.

 

Truthfully yours,

 

Dre.

 

 

blackswampboy's picture
blackswampboy
Posts: 341
Joined: Jul 2012

hi OOO,

thanks for posting your take on the matter.

I think you've misconstrued the point of an 'infographic': it is not meant to document sources, but to promote the issue to a broad (including young and lay audiences) audience. It is, by definition, a shallow presentation and a marketing tool. it is not scientific literature, nor is it meant to be. if that bothers you, sorry.

For those wishing to delve deeper, sources are not hard to find. just quickly, here's one--from a recent report in the Journal of the NCI.

 

"Results Death rates continued to decline for all cancers combined for men and women of all major racial and ethnic groups and for most major cancer sites; rates for both sexes combined decreased by 1.5% per year from 2000 to 2009. Overall incidence rates decreased in men but stabilized in women. Incidence rates increased for two HPV-associated cancers (oropharynx, anus) and some cancers not associated with HPV (eg, liver, kidney, thyroid)."

"Conclusions The overall trends in declining cancer death rates continue. However, increases in incidence rates for some HPV-associated cancers and low vaccination coverage among adolescents underscore the need for additional prevention efforts for HPV-associated cancers, including efforts to increase vaccination coverage."

http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/01/03/jnci.djs491.abstract?sid=8b9cc5c1-3b59-47d9-bf75-135e325a2b1b

 

controversial? not sure where you're coming from--it does sound as if you are attempting to deny a connection between HPV and oral cancers.

regardless, I am a recovering victim of HPV-associated oral cancer myself...and there is no controversy from my chair. (guess that makes me an internet meme, lol.) if you would like to have that documented, I can direct you to my oncologist.

cheers, douglas

 

ooo's picture
ooo
Posts: 107
Joined: Mar 2012

Dear Douglas,

 

I spent the whole evening reading. There is indeed pretty substantial evidence showing that some strains of HPV cause oral cancers. So my apologies if I came off as a "denier" of something which seems to be well-established and which is especially important to you because of your personal history.

 

I'm glad that you posted the infographics, that I ranted about it and that your response made me read a lot more papers than I originally had. At least someone learnt something today. :D

 

Best to all of you, my friends.

 

Dre.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8088
Joined: Sep 2009

Dang....

Of all of those "classes and lectures" in the Marine Corps on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, they never mentioned once that;

More than 6 promiscuious relationships = 8.6x chances of HPV+ = H&N Cancer....

Actually HPV was never mentioned to me at all in the service. 

Until I was told by my ENT that my tonsil cancer was more than likely HPV+ derived, I never heard of HPV other than related to cervical cancer, Gardasil and young girls...

 

...Go figure..

 

Thanks for the info though..., confirms a lot of thoughts and statements I've brought up before...(as well as others)..

 

John

jcortney's picture
jcortney
Posts: 423
Joined: Sep 2012

I'm 63 years old and was at Woodstock.  I think I eclipsed the top tier that weekend.

 

Joe Cortney

Dallas, TX

luv4lacrosse's picture
luv4lacrosse
Posts: 1392
Joined: Jul 2010

What's really alarming is the cavalier attitude towards oral sex with college and HS age kids as they think oral sex is not cheating and or just like hanging out. I think HPV oral cancers will be the next epidemic of cancers. 

Thoughts??

 

mike

luv4lacrosse's picture
luv4lacrosse
Posts: 1392
Joined: Jul 2010

What's really alarming is the cavalier attitude towards oral sex with college and HS age kids as they think oral sex is not cheating and or just like hanging out. I think HPV oral cancers will be the next epidemic of cancers. 

Thoughts??

 

mike

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8088
Joined: Sep 2009

I think it already is, or if not...it's well on it's way.

It's already been labeled as the "sinners cancer"..., ha...

JG

 

luv4lacrosse's picture
luv4lacrosse
Posts: 1392
Joined: Jul 2010

I have college age boys and the deposition they seem to take is "a bj ain't cheatin." I think HPV derived oral cancers will be the next epidemic. I have had this discussion with my ENT and he thinks there is something to my opinion. He is treating more HPV vs non HPV and also seeing more young folks vs the old man who smoke and drank. Only time will tell.

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1239
Joined: Dec 2012

After the comments here I went back to review the ad, and that is what it is, an adverrtisment directed at younger folks to just be aware that oral sex is tied to cancer, something new to be aware of.

 

Go back and scan that ad for 5-10 seconds, you will see what pops out and that is exactly what they are trying to achieve. One can argue all the number but the basic message comes across clearly so to me it is very effective for its desigjned purpose.

 

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3731
Joined: Mar 2012

thank gawd it tops out at 8.6%...LOLOLOLOL...

p

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1239
Joined: Dec 2012

That is 8 TIMES not 8 percent, a 100 times more often.

And those numbers, who the hell knows. There are ZERO definitive completed peer reports published giving any true incidence of HPV p16+ staining and other of the hundred HPV strains that are causing the increase in oral cancers. 

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network