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On the heels of Michael Douglas' recent interview with the U.K.'s Guardian – during which he attempted to offer insight into a potential link between his throat cancer and oral sex – "Piers Morgan Live" invited Dr. Steven Lamm to supply some greater context.
The director of men's health at the NYU medical center, Lamm echoed the essence of Douglas' comments:
"He may be right. I mean, about 70 percent of the new cancers – oral pharyngeal, tonsilar, back of the tongue – are actually caused by, you know, the HPV virus that people acquire through oral sex. In the old days, it was primary alcohol and cigarettes. But they seem to occur in the front of the mouth, the tongue, the cheeks," he told Piers Morgan. "This is a special, increasing, very scary, new type of cancer because of the prevalence of oral sex in this country or any country. And the good news is that it's a little easier to treat."
Since it may take decades for one to begin to feel sick, it's difficult to say when Douglas contracted his oral cancer, and therefore, his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones may not necessarily be a carrier of the disease. Nonetheless, despite how awkward his statements to a British newspaper may have been, the actors message was crucial:
"I think the point is that oral sex is not safe sex. It's safer, but it's not safe," said Lamm. "And HPV, syphilis, gonorrhea, a whole bunch of, you know, STDs can be transmitted that way."
With this, the host did a bit of unsolicited PR for the 68-year-old star of "Basic Instinct" and "Wall Street":
"So actually probably quite an important wake-up call regardless," suggested Morgan. "We should applaud Michael Douglas for raising it even if he now wishes he hadn't?"
"Absolutely. Absolutely. It's going to encourage young men to start getting this vaccine, as well, which is really important."