Iron Maiden’s Lead Singer Got Cancer- From Oral Sex

You may recall not so long ago that actor Michael Douglas had a battle with throat cancer that he blamed on his sex life, a topic that was mocked furiously in the media until it became clear he had a serious problem, then he got better, then everyone stopped caring.  But for a time, when he was insisting he got cancer from going down on the ladies, he was the butt of countless jokes.

Now, Bruce Dickinson of Iron maiden has come forward with a very similar story – after finding a lump in his tongue and lymph node, he was diagnosed with cancer as well and his list of suspects is short – cunnilingus. 

The reason isn’t because the man smashes vag like a pro, though you have to assume that in his career he’s probably had more groupies than you and I ever will, it’s because the cancer was caused by HPV.  And what’s the one thing we all know about HPV?  Or, well, most of us, since they run commercials for it?  It’s a disease they vaccinate women against because it causes cervical cancer.  So, often, girls are encouraged to get a shot of something called Gardasil in their teens to prevent I later in life, HPV is the number one cause of cervical cancer.  So if HPV causes cervical cancer, it effects that particular area of a woman’s anatomy, if a dude is spending a lot of time with his mouth down there…is there something to this?

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The CDC’s website kindly points out that basically no one has bothered to study this, probably because scientific research and going down on women tend to not go hand in hand.  Science likes to avoid awkward subjects, and in the realm of disease, up to this point, it was easy enough to say ok, yep, sex transmits sexually transmitted diseases” and look the other way.  But the idea of oral sex maybe transmitting HPV to lead to oral cancers is new and unique and will require someone to actually get in there and do some gritty research.

They do let you know that HPV can cause oral cancer, just no definitive linking of it to oral sex, because hey, maybe you got cancer from chewing tobacco instead or something and the HPV was just regular, non-oral sex related HPV.  But from the sounds of Douglas and Dickinson, at least a few doctors are outright saying that if you’ve tongue tickled a lot of ladies with the virus, that’s probably what did it to you.

According to Dickinson, the risk increases dramatically in older males, he quoted a number like 500 times in men over 40.  Where he got that, who knows?  But it might be something worth asking a doctor about if you’re the adventurous sort who gets tongue tied a lot.