A new study showed that men are at higher risk to develop mouth and throat cancer linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV) than women.

As the number of oral sex partners increases for men, the risk of cancer increases as well. Middle-aged white men are the ones at more risk than other races, according to the study.

The statistics are different in women due to the number of sexual partners do not interfere in their risk for cancer, and women who have more vaginal sex partners appear to have lower risk for oral HPV infection, as reported by Tech Times.

Photo: NewVision
Photo: NewVision

Researchers said that this lower risk may be because women who were first exposed to HPV vaginally develop an immune response that protect them from the oral HPV infection. Men do not seen to develop such response.

“Our research shows that once you become infected, men are less likely to clear this infection than women, further contributing to the cancer risk,” said doctor Gypsyamber D’Souza, a member of the researchers team.

HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections among sexually active people, which can be linked to mouth and throat cancer. HPV is known to infect more than 90 percent of men and 80 percent of women, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The sexually transmitted infection can go away without developing cancerous cell, but some of those infections can cause cellular changes in the mouth and throat if it is left untreated. The symptom of such disease can be shown years after the person had sexual contact with someone infected.

D’Souza added that people are engaging in oral sex at increasingly young ages, compared to others generations. This may also raise the risk of head and neck cancer by 22 percent, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The study was presented on Friday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) by researchers from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Source: Tech Times