The major traditional risk factors for throat cancer are excessive consumption of alcohol and snuff. But in recent years, it was discovered that some cancers of the throat can be caused by HPV, which can be spread through oral sex. This type of cancer is called throat cancer HPV-positive.

To determine if the cancer patient's throat is caused by HPV, doctors study the genetic signature of the tumor. On the other hand, patients with HPV-positive tumors have shown a better response to treatment and increased survival rate in clinical studies.

Although HPV is becoming the main risk factor for throat cancer, and is the cause of 70 percent of throat cancers in the United States, smoking, drinking and having a weakened immune system are still risk factors important for the development of cancer.

According to investigators, the rate of HPV-positive throat cancer is increasing, while the number of those caused by other factors such as smoking is decreasing.

So, although it seems likely, from what he said that throat cancer Michael Douglas has been considered as HPV-positive, it is difficult to know if your smoking and heavy alcohol consumption have contributed to the development of this cancer.

HPV belongs to a group of more than 150 sexually transmitted virus. Some of them are low-risk HPV simply produce warts on the skin. About a dozen HPV, mainly HPV types 16 and 18, have been identified as high risk of causing cancer.

While there is currently no sure way to prevent throat cancer caused by HPV, the U.S. is being recommended vaccination for boys and girls.

Picture PhD Dre at the English language Wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0, GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons