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'Mouth cancer cases caused by oral sex reach highest ever level' says dental charity

The UK’s leading dental charity is appealing to the Government to include boys in a planned vaccination program to guard against the sexually transmitted HPV virus – after mouth cancer deaths related to the virus reached their highest ever level.

The British Dental Health Foundation was speaking after a new large scale US study of 46,000 mouth cancer cases found that the number of deaths linked to the sexually transmitted HPV virus has increased by a third over the last 30 years and is now the highest it has ever been.

The Government has already agreed to introduce the HPV vaccine for all 12-13 year old girls from September 2008 to guard against cervical cancer in the future.

But with mouth cancer killing one person every five hours in the UK and affecting more men than women, the Foundation believes it is vital that the vaccine is given to boys as well as girls in order to halt the constant increase in new mouth cancer cases.

Using tobacco is the main risk factor for the condition, closely followed by drinking alcohol to excess.

For more information on mouth cancer visit the website www.mouthcancer.org http://www.mouthcancer.org

For further information please contact the Foundation’s Press Office on 0870 770 4014 or e-mail pr@dentalhealth.org