STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Avoiding oral sex is one way to avoid getting cancer of the mouth, Swedish researchers say.
Dentist Kerstin Rosenquist compared 132 cancer patients with a control group of 320 healthy people. Her finding: Thirty-six percent of the cancer group also were infected with the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, vs. just 1 percent of the healthy group.
The result is in line with a French study last year, which found that oral cancer patients infected with HPV had three times more oral sex than those who did not have the virus, Swedish Web site The Local reported.
The virus also has been linked to cervical cancer.
While oral cancer is most common in middle-aged men, "in recent years the disease has increased among young people and we don't know why," Rosenquist said.
"We can speculate over whether the virus is one of the factors," she said.
Rosenquist also advised people to visit their dentist regularly to catch oral cancer in its earliest stages.