Michael Douglas Blames His Cancer on Oral Sex

June 6, 2013
Can Oral Sex Really Give You Cancer?

Featuring: Dr. Douglas Frank, Director, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute

Whether or not oral sex did cause Michael Douglas’ bout with cancer really doesn’t matter. What does matter are the questions and resulting conversations that came from his interview.
Before an overabundance of “Oral sex gave me cancer” headlines (which is a headline writer’s dream, by the way), the likelihood is that most HPV-related coversations focused on vaccines for young women. Instead, people are now left wondering, “Can doing that really lead to cancer?”
Well as it turns out, yes, it can. At least in some cases.

The Centers for Disease Control lists HPV as the most common sexually transmitted infection, with more than 40 types that affect both men and women’s genital areas. But while a person’s genitals may be the most commonly infected area of the body, the mouth and throat as areas susceptible to infection as well.

Although most people who contract HPV never develop any symptoms (with most cases clearing themselves up), there are rare cases in which the infection can lead to more serious conditions, including cancer.

Dr. Douglas Frank, chief of the division of head and neck surgery at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and director of head and neck surgical oncology at the North Shore LIJ Cancer Institute, said the number of people who will develop any form of cancer from HPV is very small.

“The vast majority of us are able to clear it, our immune systems just clear the virus,” Frank said. “There’s a small population of people that don’t clear it, and an even smaller population of those people that are susceptible to get the cancer from it.”

New York Post
June 4, 2013
Doctors' Oral Argument for Zipping Your Lips

Featuring: Dr. Dennis Krauss, Director, Center for Head & Neck Oncology, North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute

Read this Story


June 3, 2013
Michael Douglas Blames His Cancer on Oral Sex

Read this Story

Focus onHealth TV

Watch Focus onHealth, Northwell Health's TV show. It's the healthy way to stay informed!