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HPV a Growing Cause of Upper Throat Cancer

Posted at: 06/03/2013 2:53 PM

ATLANTA (AP) - Actor Michael Douglas' comments about throat cancer have thrown a spotlight on cancer risks from a sexually spread virus.

The virus, HPV, is best known for causing cervical cancer. But experts say it also is a growing cause of certain types of oral cancer, those in the upper throat. In the U.S., the American Cancer Society estimates there will be nearly 14,000 new cases of upper throat cancer this year. The government says recent studies suggest almost two-thirds of those are caused by HPV.

Researchers say women sometimes get oral cancer caused by HPV, but the risk is greatest and rising among men.

The Guardian newspaper published an interview Monday in which Douglas noted HPV can be one cause of oral cancer. Others are tobacco and alcohol.

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