The human papillomavirus (HPV) increases the chances of head and neck cancer by at least seven times, according to a new study, NBC News reported.
The study, conducted by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, looked at records of more than 96,000 people.
Their findings showed that people infected with a strain called HPV-16 were between two and 22 times as likely to be in the cancer group. Experts believe 70 percent of all head and neck cancers are caused by HPV, likely spread by oral sex.
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Two vaccines prevent infection with HPV strains 16 and 18. Both boys and girls are supposed to get three doses of the vaccine, starting at age 11 or 12.