Movie star Michael Douglas reveals his throat cancer — long assumed to be related to his smoking and drinking habits — was caused by performing oral sex. In an interview with The Guardian, the actor says, “Without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus].” The 68-year-old husband of Catherine Zeta Jones was diagnosed with stage four cancer in August 2010. Douglas is now more than two years clear of cancer after going through an intensive eight-week course of chemotherapy and radiation. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus thought to be responsible for an increasing proportion of oral cancers. But a study released Saturday says there is no need for patients with cancer from an oral HPV infection to refrain from sex with their partners. Gypsyamber D’Souza, an epidemiology professor at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, says partners of patients with oral cancer did not have a significantly higher risk of developing the disease. D’Souza adds long-term partners have likely already been exposed to the virus and managed to “clear” it.
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