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KIMT News 3 – A well-known celebrity is talking candidly about his cancer and where he thinks he may have gotten it from.
In a recent interview with The Guardian newspaper, actor Michael Douglas makes claims suggesting his own personal battle with throat cancer could be linked to the HPV or (human papillomavirus) virus transmitted through oral sex.
Although smoking and drinking remain the most common causes of throat cancer, researchers say that links between the disease and HPV are possible.
“You can contract HPV through oral sexual contact although it’s not that common. Typically oral pharyngeal cancers are seen in middle-aged men. Biggest risk factors are smoking or tobacco use and drinking alcohol. People who have a weakened immune system, people who have had lots of sexual partners are also at risk,” said Betty Krones, a Disease Prevention Specialist with Cerro Gordo County Department of Health.
For Betty she believes that some good can at least come from having discussions about the risks behind oral sex.
“STD’s are underestimated by the public because people don’t talk about them. So by having a celebrity talk about it, it will get people talking about it, it will get people thinking about it. Then ask, hey how can I protect myself,” said Krones.
Douglas who has starred in such movies as “Basic Instinct” and “Wall Street”, is married to actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.