Few media outlets come out and state what the medical community knows: HPV is being transmitted via oral sex – and many young adults and teens engage in this behavior.
West Roxbury, MA (PRWEB) September 17, 2010
A passionate advocate for educating people about oral health and sexual health, Dr. Helaine Smith has released a new video, Sex Facts and HPV.
Although sexually graphic, "Sex Facts and HPV" also contains important health information regarding the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) and its link to the rise in oral cancer rates. Researchers have determined that HPV causes cervical cancer in women and because it’s spread through skin-to-skin contact, including kissing and oral sex, it is also believed to be behind the dramatic rise in the rates of oral cancer among young adults, an age group traditionally not at risk for oral cancer.
“I created this video because few mainstream media outlets will discuss why we’re seeing a rise of oral cancer rates in young adults,” says Dr. Helaine Smith. “They’ll discuss how young girls are engaging in sexual activities at younger and younger ages or will occasionally feature a young woman with oral cancer. But few media outlets come out and state what the medical community knows: HPV is being transmitted via oral sex – and many young adults and teens engage in this behavior. It’s not something we like to talk about, but we must if we’re to get the message out and help ensure this age group understands the risks and takes the proper precautions.”
The first line of defense in diagnosing oral cancer is the dentist office, something that Dr. Smith explains in "Sex Facts and HPV." Many dentists now perform oral cancer screenings as part of a routine dental check-up. An oral cancer screening includes looking for sores and white spots inside a patient’s mouth, behind the tongue, and on the lips. Dentists also check for lumps in the neck and throat.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 3 million teens are sexually active and one in four will get a sexually transmitted disease, including HPV. A recent report in the journal Cancer notes that the cause for the rise in oral cancer is due to a particular strain of HPV. The rise in oral cancer due to this strain has increased in men from 30 percent to 60 percent in the last 10 years.
Over 25% of the 34,000 Americans annually diagnosed with oral cancer die of the disease – or one every hour of every day -- which claims more lives than melanoma and cervical cancer. The death rate for oral cancer is relatively high because the disease is not detected early enough. In fact, people will go months and even a year with a persistent sore throat or a large lump in the neck or throat before being examined by a physician. Hollywood move star Michael Douglas, for example, was diagnosed with stage four oral cancer.
In addition to her video, Dr. Smith has developed e-books, a blog and a forum at her Website in order to educate consumers about good oral health care.
About Dr. Helaine Smith
A passionate advocate for educating consumers about dentistry, Helaine Smith, DMD owns two thriving dental offices – a cosmetic dental spa and a family dental practice – both in the Boston area. Dr. Smith is the author of the popular “Healthy Mouth, Healthy Sex!” e-book, featured in the book, World Wide Rave (Wiley, 2009), by best selling author David Meerman Scott. Dr. Smith is regularly quoted in the media and speaks frequently about cosmetic dentistry. She can be reached via her Website at http://www.helainesmithdmd.com or by email at helainesmithdmd(at)aol(dot)com.
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