Men are four times more likely to get cancer from oral sex than women due to their weaker immune systems, a scientist claims.
According to Dr Ashish Deshmukh, from the University of Florida, infected men struggle to rid their bodies of the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes them to harbour the pathogen for a long time and raises their disease risk.
Previous research also suggests men may be more willing to perform oral sex due to sexual norms and having fewer inhibitions between the sheets.
HPV is the most common sexually-transmitted infection in the US and can cause cancer of the penis in men, while women are at risk of developing the condition in the vulva, vagina or cervix.
The infection can also cause cancer of the anus or throat in both sexes.
Around 79 million people in the US are infected with HPV, which is most commonly spread by vaginal or anal sex. Up to four in five people in the UK develop the infection at some point in their lives.
In the US, vaccinations against the infection are recommended for all boy and girls aged 11 to 12. In the UK, only girls are vaccinated from 12 years old.
Controversially, certain girls report being left wheelchair bound and paralysed after having the jab, however, global health officials have repeatedly said they are safe.
Men are four times more likely to get cancer from oral sex due to their weaker immune systems
HOW MELINDA MESSENGER SPARKED THE HPV-VACCINE ROW
The former glamour girl was slammed for her controversial opinion on the vaccines
Melinda Messenger was accused of scare-mongering after revealing she would not be giving her teenage daughter the HPV vaccines.
The TV personality revealed her strong views on This Morning in 2016 and was criticised by the show’s resident doctor Dr Christ Steele.
Melinda expressed her concern over her daughter, Evie, 13, having the jabs following a link between the vaccines and a range of chronic illnesses.
Viewers branded her decision ‘irresponsible’ and Melinda said hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield were overly hostile towards her, both on and off stage.
It is believed there was an attempt by the UK Public Health Association to ban her from even appearing on the programme.
‘Men acquire oral infections more readily than women’
Dr Deshmukh told The Inquirer: ‘There is good evidence that men acquire oral infections more readily than women, even if they have similar sex practices.
‘And more than the acquisition, it’s the persistence of the virus.
‘The clearance rate is not that fast in men.’
Male virgins can still get HPV
This comes after research released in December last year suggested male virgins can still get HPV.
Men who have never had intercourse are still at risk of catching sexually-transmitted HPV if they have oral sex, according to the researchers.
Yet, such infections occur at around half the rate of those having penetrative sex.
The researchers believe the study’s participants may have caught HPV through oral sex.
Study author Dr Alan Nyitray from The University of Texas in Houston, said: ‘It reinforces the point that HPV vaccination should not be thought of only in the context of sexual behavior.’
Of the participants who had sex within one year of the study starting, 28.7 percent became infected with HPV, while 45.5 percent caught the virus within two years.
Why are HPV vaccines controversial?
In recent years, numerous teenage girls have made headlines after claiming to suffer devastating side effects after having HPV vaccines, with alleged complications including paralysis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Yet, global health officials have always strongly denied the jabs have any nervous system effects.
As with any vaccine, there is a very small chance of a severe allergic reaction with the HPV jab, according to the Vaccine Knowledge Project at the University of Oxford.
Up to February 2017, 11,867 reactions to Gardasil, the jabs’ brand name, had been recorded, according to The European Medicines Agency.
Of these reactions, many report symptoms of CFS. Cases of girls being left paralysed are rare.
The World Health Organisation, the US Center for Disease Control and the European Medicines Regulator have ‘extensively reviewed the vaccine’s safety’.
They conclude there is ‘no credible evidence of a link between the HPV vaccine and a range of chronic illnesses’.
In addition, researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health discovered unvaccinated girls face the same risk of developing CFS as those receiving the jabs.