Anal Cancer and The Four Other Cancers Transmitted During SEX

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The human papillomaviruses (HPVs) is a group of over 200 related viruses. 

According to the National Cancer Institute, many of the types are transmitted by sex through genital or skin-to-skin contact.
They can be spread by vaginal, anal and oral intercourse, and it infects the skin and the cells lining body cavities. 
According to the FDA, at least 50 per cent of people who have had sex will have HPV at some point in their lives.
Woman with sore throatGETTY
Oral cancer: It can affect the throat, mouth and sides of the cheeks
There are two types of sexually-transmitted HPVs. Low-risk HPVs do not cause cancer, but high-risk HPVs can.
There are two types of sexually-transmitted HPVs. Low-risk HPVs do not cause cancer, but can trigger skin warts on or around the genitals and anus.
However, high-risk HPVs can lead to cancer - here are some of the types that can be spread and contracted via sexual contact.
Anal cancer
It’s where malignant cells form in the tissues of the anus, and it affects the very end of the large bowel. Roughly 95 per cent of all anal cancers are caused by HPV.
The symptoms are similar to more common and less serious conditions affecting the anus, such as piles and anal fissures, according to the NHS.
These include bleeding from the bottom, itching and pain around the anus, small lumps around the anus, a discharge of mucus from the anus and loss of bowel control.
Man with sore throatGETTY
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Cervical cancer
The cervix is the entrance to the womb from the vagina.
Most cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV. Indeed, just two HPV types, 16 and 18, account for 70 per cent of all cases.
In UK females it’s the 13th most common cancer, and more than half of cases are diagnosed in women under the age of 45, according to Cancer Research UK.
A woman must be infected with HPV in order to develop cervical cancer - the most common way for a woman to become infected is through sex with an infected partner.
In its early stages there are no outward symptoms. However if you do have symptoms, the most common is unusual vaginal bleeding, which can occur after sex, in between periods or after the menopause.
This is why the NHS offers a regular cervical screening programme to all women from the age of 25.

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Oral cancer
Also known as mouth cancer, these affect the middle of the throat, insides of the cheeks, base of the tongue and the tonsils.
Around 70 per cent of them are caused by HPV.
During oral sex, if the virus comes into contact with the epithelial cells of skin and mucosa, it can trigger cancer.
Symptoms include sore mouth ulcers that don’t heal within several weeks, persistent and unexplained lumps in the mouth and neck, looseness of teeth and numbness on the lip or tongue.
Penile cancer
HPV is responsible for 35 per cent of penile cancers which affect the male reproductive organs.
Around one in 585 men in the UK will be affected at some point in their lifetime. 
Sore throatGETTY
Anal cancer: Symptoms are similar to piles and anal fissures
According to the American Cancer Society, signs include an area of skin becoming thicker or changing colour, a lump on the penis, a reddish rash, small and crusty bumps, and smelly discharge under the foreskin.
Vaginal cancer
It’s a rare type of cancer that begins in the vagina, and only around 260 new cases are diagnosed in the UK each year.
About 65 per cent of cases are caused by HPV.
Common symptoms include bleeding between your normal periods or after sex, and bleeding after the menopause.
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