"We believe that oral sex is the cause of the rapid increase in head and neck cancer over the past 10 years. It is vital that anyone with symptoms receive vaccines against the human papillomavirus (HPV)."
Such was the statement from Prof. Shin Dong-moon of Emory University who is a specialist in head and neck cancer.
There are over 100 varieties of HPVs and they are usually transmitted through sexual activities. There are high-risk contaminations which affects organs like the womb.
Prof. Shin, 62, said some 34 percent of women aged between 18 and 79 are infected with HPV, most of which is associated with a more open sex culture in the country. The rate of infection is as high as 50 percent for those aged between 18 and 29.
The situation is similar in countries like the United States. "Throat cancer used to be a rarity over a decade ago but the increase in smoking and drinking has given rise to its incursion. There is every possibility that HPV will turn into a worldwide epidemic."
He went on to say that changes in sexual activities and dietary trends are essential for reining in such possibilities.
A graduate of the Severance medical school of Yonsei University, Shin first joined MD Anderson hospital for cancer treatment and research before heading to Emory.