Hollywood actor Michael Douglas revealed to The Guardian newspaper recently (though after much uproar he later denied) that he got throat cancer from performing oral sex.

This comes three years after he was diagnosed with the disease. “This particular cancer is caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which actually comes about from cunnilingus (oral sex),” he is quoted saying.

For those green on the numerous ways man has invented to maximally experience erotic pleasure, oral sex – scientifically referred to as fellatio (nibbling and sucking of the penile shaft) and cunnilingus (licking of the female genitals in way of provoking pleasure) – involves the unusual use of the mouth and its accompanying apparatus to realise carnal sweetness.

HPV is the viral agent that has been determined to cause cervical cancer, says Dr John Ong’ech of Kenyatta National Hospital’s department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  He says the virus is known to be carcinogenic and therefore has the potential of causing cancer on many tissues in the human body.

“There are several strains of HPV: the one notorious for causing cancers are types 16 and 18,” says the medic.

“So far it has been proven to cause penile, vaginal and cervical cancer. However, since the two strains are highly carcinogenic, they have the ability of causing cancer on many tissue types through abnormal cell division, which is their known way of action.”

Published research studies indicate most cases of genital warts are caused by ‘low-risk’ HPV types 6 and 11, which do not pose a significant cancer risk. Genital warts are tissue growths that are rather benign and are brought about by the presence of the virus.

Dr Ong’ech agrees with other studies which have led to researchers concluding that HPV is so common that almost everyone who has been active sexually will have encountered it by the age of 25. High-risk HPV, Type 16 and 18, are also associated with cancer of the throat by some online published papers.

Vaccines against the two highly carcinogenic strains have so far been made. Cervarix protects against HPV types 16 and 18, and Gardasil protects against HPV types 6 and 11 as well as 16 and 18. Dr Ong’ech concludes that actor Michael Douglas acquiring throat cancer from performing cunnilingus is highly possible, knowing how carcinogenic the virus can be.

Essentially, whatever pleasure you are having out there, keep it natural or else you might become a Michael Douglas yourself.