Dr Matthew Magarey, a surgeon who uses robotic technology to remove cancer from people’s throats. Photo: Simon O’Dwyer

The sexual revolution is producing a new wave of throat and tongue cancers among middle-aged people, who are falling victim to a rare side effect of the “common cold of sexually transmitted infections”.

A growing number of Australians with oropharyngeal cancer are testing positive to the human papillomavirus (HPV), suggesting it has caused their disease rather than smoking or heavy drinking – factors responsible for many head and neck cancers in the past.

Oropharyngeal cancer is usually found in the back third of the tongue or the tonsils. In 2014, about 125 Victorians were diagnosed with it. Most were men.

Source: Throat cancers linked to the “common cold of sexually transmitted viruses”, HPV, are on the rise