Hi, I'm the founder of MarriageRomance.com. In March 2008 I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma that had metastasized to my left neck lymph node. In April 2008 the doctor removed my left cancerous lymph node as well as my left tonsil. The left tonsil turned out to be cancerous too.
I've been doing a lot of research on this type of cancer. 30,000 new oral (tonsil) cancer cases are reported each year, with 8,000 people dying each year from the disease. Studies suggest that while smoking and drinking and marijuana were the only known cause years ago, now HPV-16 has become the primary cause of the disease while the smoking cases are on the decline. Survival rates of oral cancer have not improved in 30 years, as clean surgical margins are difficult to obtain, said Bruce Haughey, M.D. of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Lois Mo.
In 2000 Gillison published that she found HPV in 25% of oral tumors. In February 2008 she published in the Journal Of Clinical Oncology, that within 10 years HPV will be main cause of oral cancers. The study also said the, "Incidence of HPV-related oral cancers rose significantly from 1973 to 2004, particularly among white, younger men." The study stated that the rate of HPV-related cancers in women has gone down significantly in last 30 years.
I don't smoke or drink. Research has indicated that if you don't smoke or drink, then most likely the cancer is related to the HPV-16 virus which you get from having oral sex.
In my case they checked the tumor for HPV-16 and the results were negative. My four doctors I've seen (3 ENT's and 1 Oncologist) said my cancer was most likely from too many x-rays. One doctor said each time you get an x-ray on an area, it increases your chance of cancer there by 1 percent. I've had over 100 x-rays on my left jaw, which is right there by the left tonsil. I was in an accident when I was 11 and broke my jaw and lost teeth and because of that I've had continual dental work there on the left side of my mouth for 40 years that's the reason for all the x-rays. But back to the HPV-16 info I found while researching possible causes of my cancer.
Here are the facts.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD). 20 million men and women in the U.S. are infected. There are 100 variations of the HPV virus which include the common wart (HPV-6 or HPV-8).
Cancer from HPV is a rare complication from a very common virus infection.
There is no test to detect the HPV virus. The HPV-16 virus is the variation that causes most cervical cancer. Screenings rely on the visibility of skin abnormalities.
Men get HPV-16 related oral cancer 4 times more often than women. Usually the cancer presents itself when the man is in his 50's. Almost always when the person was not a smoker or a drinker, the cancer turns out to have the HPV-16 virus.
Now let's look at a few of the facts about women. 80 percent of all women are infected with the HPV-16 virus by age 50. Because older women already have the virus, Gardasil, which is a vaccine to make humans immune to the HPV-16 virus, is only given to girls ages 9 to 26.
Ok, now let's put 2 and 2 together. If 80 percent of women at age 50 have the HPV-16 virus, and we know all those women are not sleeping around, then we can conclude that as women get older, they just get the HPV-16 virus because of their age. In fact the HPV-16 virus is as common as the common cold. Who hasn't had a cold by age 50? So it isn't that women get the HPV-16 virus because of age, but rather the longer they live the more chance they will get it; and so by age 50, 80 percent of women have it.
Ok, so if 80 percent of women get the HPV-16 virus by age 50, and it just so happens that men at age 50 start dying of oral cancer (and increasingly at younger ages); it seems that the older a couple is, the more at risk they are for getting oral cancer from having oral sex.
Keep in mind that research suggests that even though the cancer shows up at age 50, the cancer patient may have become infected from the HPV-16 virus 10 to 20 years before.
I just wanted to warn married couples about this danger that I've learned about the hard way. The survival rate for oral cancer has not increased in 30 years because it is very difficult to remove all the cancer from the throat when the tonsils are taken out. In 30 to 40 percent of the cases the cancer returns in the region. Sometimes it spreads to the lungs and liver. But the cancer patients with an HPV-16 positive tumor were 59 percent less likely to die of their cancer than others.
Please pray God will heal me and thanks for your prayers!
God bless you all and I believe God allowed me to get this cancer so I could warn the rest of you.
Comment by: Old Site
Date: 2/9/2013 7:49:37 PM
A reader says ... 12/29/2008 - Update from the editor - my cancer has not come back so far. Thanks for your prayers and please keep praying for my healing when you think about it.
A reader says ... We know that married couples perform oral sex on each other as a way to help each other become aroused and to moisten the areas. We have found that this introduces a high risk of getting cancer related to the HPV-16 virus, as the founder of this web site has personally encountered. We suggest that a much safer way of becoming aroused would be to watch an erotic video together. And yet there aren't any moral erotic video resources available today. That is why we have decided to open back up this project and try and produce some.
A reader says ... Thank you for your prayers. I am hoping God will heal me, for his honor and glory, so I may continue this web site and the ministry of teaching salvation through Jesus Christ (John 3:16), obedience from faith (Romans 1:5) and repentance through kindness, tolerance and patience (Romans 2:4). I'm just not sure if I should get the radiation or not. Thanks again for your prayers.
To answer the question about oral sex being safe in a 100% monogamous marriage. The answer I believe is no. The problem seems to be that when the HPV-16 virus gets in the mouth, both men and women can get tonsil cancer.
HPV-16 must be a virus that you get in the genital area. But through oral sex it can be transmitted to the mouth. Then once in the mouth you run the risk of getting tonsil cancer.
But 3 to 4 times more men get it than women. But 80 percent of all men and women in their 40's have the HPV-16 virus - I guess in their genital area. It is like the common cold.
But having the virus is not the problem. The research doctors said the cancer is like a rare complication from having the virus. So most people do not get cancer from the virus. But for the few that do, and the number is increasing and becoming a younger number each year, it would have been better if they had not had oral sex.
So to answer your question, No, oral sex is not safe for any married couple. It increases the risk of oral (tonsil) cancer - especially for the husband (3 to 4 times greater risk for the husband than for the wife).
A reader says ... Is oral sex safe for a couple that has been 100% monogamous, and where neither partner has ever had sex with anyone else?
A reader says ... First, we will pray for your healing. My wife is a cancer survivor and now works extensively with cancer patients. When she was diagnosed, her oncologist said her life expectancy was 5 to 10 years, but we consulted a Higher Authority and He healed her completely. Secondly, isn't this the virus for which the FDA recently approved a vaccination and recommended it for all young women? If so, your research should provide even more incentive for women to strongly consider talking to their docs about the vaccination. Finally, I strongly recommend going to the website for CURE magazine http://www.curetoday.com/ and subscribing. This publication is free for cancer patients and it covers all of the latest research on cancer.
Editor: Thank you for your prayers and for the information! Blessings ...