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Few in Singapore get throat cancer from sex

Published on Jun 8, 2013 7:35 AM

Alarm bells went off around the world when 68-year-old Hollywood actor Michael Douglas said in an interview published in a British newspaper that oral sex had given him throat cancer.

But such cases appear to be far less common in Singapore, doctors said. Oral cancer cases are rare in Singapore, to begin with.

The human papillomavirus (HPV), while more commonly linked to cervical cancer in women, can cause cancer in some parts of the tongue and throat.

However, only 10 per cent to 20 per cent of oral cancer cases at the National Cancer Centre Singapore are linked to HPV, said Dr Tan Ngian Chye, a senior consultant in surgical oncology.

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