US actor Michael Douglas leaves on May 21, 2013 after attending the screening of the film 'Behind the Candelabra' presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT
ATLANTA (AP) - Actor Michael Douglas' comments about throat cancer have thrown a spotlight on cancer risks from a sexually spread virus.
The virus, HPV, is best known for causing cervical cancer. But experts say it also is a growing cause of certain types of oral cancer, those in the upper throat. In the U.S., the American Cancer Society estimates there will be nearly 14,000 new cases of upper throat cancer this year. The government says recent studies suggest almost two-thirds of those are caused by HPV.
Researchers say women sometimes get oral cancer caused by HPV, but the risk is greatest and rising among men.
The Guardian newspaper published an interview Monday in which Douglas noted HPV can be one cause of oral cancer. Others are tobacco and alcohol. Douglas' publicist is disputing these claims.
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