Q. Can HPV in sexually active individual cause throat cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Mahmoud Ahmed Abdelrahman Abouibrahim
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 15, 2018 and last reviewed on: Nov 25, 2022

Hello doctor,

I do not show any signs or symptoms. Instead, I just want accurate information on the subject of HPV in a sexually active individual. I would like to know its role in throat cancer. Yes, I know it can cause it, but I would like to know more regarding numbers. Is it rare? What percentage of people get throat cancer from it? Also, I am 30 years old and have smoked half a pack in a day from 19 to 26 years of age. I have quit now and have not smoked in the last four years. I know the body naturally fights off HPV with the immune system. But, I damaged and lowered my immune system while being very sexually active (orally) with women. Should I be worried? I know I am young and have stopped smoking but just asking.



Welcome to

Cancer in the oral cavity and larynx has many clear risk factors, including smoking and alcohol consumption. Although human papillomavirus (type 16) is found in most oral and laryngeal cancers. There is no evidence that it is the cause of cancer. There are many studies on the topic without a clear outcome.

HPV is found in 7 % of all oral cavities in your country, with only 1 % HPV 16. There is no clear evidence of how people get the virus in their oral cavities (some people never practiced oral sex). Also, HPV is a weak virus. People with adequate immunity can overcome it easily.

On the contrary, HPV 16 is the main cause of cervical cancer in females, and that is why they should be screened and get vaccinated for it. It is similar to HIV. There is no evidence that people get HPV infected with kissing.

You should not be worried as it is very rare to get laryngeal cancer because of oral sex. I recommend safe sex with condoms to avoid STDs.

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