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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Daily Dose

Throat cancer and oral sex

Michael Douglas has revealed that his stage 4 throat cancer was the result of an HPV infection that he got from oral sex. In an interview with the Guardian last Sunday, the 68-year-old actor was asked whether he regretted smoking and drinking, both of which are linked to throat cancer. He answered, “No. Because, without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”

About 14,000 throat cancers are diagnosed every year in the US, and about 70 percent of those are related to HPV, the virus most known for causing cervical cancer and anal cancer.

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