SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Actor Michael Douglas made news this weekend when he announced that his throat cancer was caused by HPV; the virus known to cause cervical cancer.
Douglas, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, originally blamed the cancer on smoking and drinking. Now, he says it was caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV.
Dr. Katherine White of the Family Planning Department at Baystate Medical Centertold 22News that there are about 200 different types of the virus, and it indeed can cause throat cancer.
"It's actually very plausible. The CDC says about 2/3rds of oral cancers are caused by HPV. We don't know if it's HPV alone or HPV in conjunction with smoking and alcohol use that are also known causes of these cancers," White said.
She added that while HPV is often more problematic for women, it is recommended that both boys and girls get the vaccine.