Sorry guys: Going downtown may raise cancer risk in women

Downtown is dangerous for women, if you catch our drift. (Think Stock Photos)Downtown is dangerous for women, if you catch our drift. (Think Stock Photos)

Cancer sticks may be jeopardizing women's health-and we're not talking about cigarettes. A new study links the rise of tonsil cancer in women with giving oral sex. In other words, your good deed may put your health at risk. Up to 70 percent of tonsil cancer is HPV-related, estimates Dr. William Lydiatt, professor and chief of head and neck surgical oncology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, in USA Today. And where there's HPV, there's likely sexual activity. While head and neck cancers caused by smoking are on the decline, similar cancers caused by HPV are on the rise. Since the disease is believed to remain in the area where first contact was made, researchers are pointing fingers at the popularity of oral sex (and we're not talking lady's choice).

In other words, 50 percent of men in the U.S. are putting their generous partner's health in jeopardy, according to stats on the disease. For women, HPV have long been three dreaded letters. Up to 80 percent of women will contract the virus before 50, putting them at a higher risk for cervical cancer. Now, it looks like throats are at risk as well.

Here's the upside: researchers note that the link between cancer and oral sex is still speculative. Also, HPV related head and neck cancers are easier to treat than smoking-related cancers in the same regions. Moreover, tonsil cancer is relatively rare-far rarer than HPV.

But that doesn't mean we're in the clear. Since there's no HPV test for men, and most don't show symptoms of the disease, there's no way to tell if your partner is a carrier. That means women may want to save their random act of kindness for special occasions. Guys: welcome to your first symptom of HPV. It sucks, we know.

Related:

The new HPV test docs don't tell you about

5 things every woman should know about HPV

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How women can learn to enjoy getting oral sex