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'Among men who did not smoke, cancer-causing oral HPV was rare among everyone who had less than five oral sex partners, although the chances of having oral HPV infection did increase with number of oral sexual partners, and with smoking.'The researchers analyzed data on 13,089 people between the ages of 20 and 69 who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and had been tested for oral HPV.They then compared those data with federal figures on oropharyngeal cancer diagnoses and deaths to predict the risk of cancer from oral HPV.They also specifically investigated the numbers of new cases of oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer (OSCC) - the commonest type of oropharyngeal cancer.The researchers found that women had a low risk of oral HPV infection from oral sex in general - regardless of their number of sexual partners.Experts say almost half of adults will be infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV) at some point in their life.And while most infections disappear on their own, without even displaying symptoms, some strains can lead to cancer, notably cervical, which in around 90 per cent of cases is caused by HPV.The study, released today, is the latest piece of evidence to show that boys do need the HPV vaccine as much as girls - and in some cases it is more pressing for males.When the vaccine was first rolled out, it was only provided to teenage girls to protect them from HPV-related cervical cancer.
It was even higher among non-smoking men who had five or more oral sex partners (7.4 percent).
Among men, the lowest risk group were non-smokers who had never had oral sex, with a rate of 1.5 percent.
Prevalence rose to 4 percent among male non-smokers with two to four oral sex partners.
But data suggest the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer will overtake cervical cancer in the US by 2020 - and sexually active men have a high risk.
There are over 100 different kinds of HPV but only a few are known to cause cancer.
'Therefore, it is not yet clear whether they will be useful for screening.