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More and more people are already affected
More and more people are getting throat cancer. One reason for this should be special practices such as oral traffic. Because it transmits the human papilloma virus (HPV). In this context, the doctors speak of a rapid increase in the actually rare cancer.
100 to 120 new cases per year
The increasing number of throat cancer diseases is "worrying", according to Herbert Riechelmann, director of the ENT department at the Innsbruck clinic, in an interview with "orf.at". In the meantime, around 2,500 people in Austria have been affected, and 100 to 120 new cases per year can be expected. Given the figures, the expert can therefore speak of an "epidemic".
The life-threatening cancer is mainly transmitted by human papillomaviruses (HPV virus), explains Riechelmann. These are the most common sexually transmitted viruses in the world, which are also responsible for the development of cervical cancer. Up until now, smoking and alcohol in particular were considered to be important risk factors, but meanwhile e.g. in the US, more people develop throat cancer from HPV than cigarettes.
Transmission of viruses through oral traffic
According to studies, this is due to a change in sexual behavior or the more frequent practice of oral sex. A topic that has become known to the public at the latest since the statements of the US actor Michael Douglas concerned. In an interview, the latter had unusually openly linked his surviving cancer of the tongue with oral sex.
Enlarged lymph nodes on the neck can be a warning sign
According to Herbert Riechelmann, a malignant tumor in the throat is usually easy to treat, but many carcinomas are only discovered very late. An early warning sign is enlarged, painless lymph nodes on the neck, as well as difficulty swallowing, hoarseness lasting longer than three weeks, or blood in the saliva, explains the doctor. HPV vaccination may help to protect yourself from a disease. Since this shows good results for cervical cancer, it can be assumed that it can also be used to prevent cancer of the throat, said the head of the ENT department at the Innsbruck clinic.
Avoid excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption
In addition, for prophylaxis, attention should be paid to a healthy diet and lifestyle, among other things, by avoiding excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption. Because smoking and alcohol continue to be important risk factors for throat cancer. Since heartburn or reflux can also promote the development of the disease, it is important that these are treated early. (No)