Rarely has an interview on the sidelines of a film premiere produced so much media echo as that of Hollywood veteran Michael Douglas on the occasion of the presentation of "Behind the Candelabra" in London. In a conversation with the British newspaper The Guardian Douglas stated on the record that he could the oral cancer, which was discovered in 2010 and had been treated with him, captured during oral sex. Cancer through cunnilingus: This initially juicy-sounding message fueled the media services worldwide. But even if Allen Burry, the spokesman for Michael Douglas, backs today – "Michael has never said that cunnilingus was the cause of his cancer.He has talked about various causes of cancer of the throat.Which is possible transmission of HPV pathogens also oral sex come to the language! " – the question remains: Can oral sex be the cause of cancer? How dangerous are HPV? The abbreviation HPV stands for "human papillomavirus", which can cause inflammation and benign but also malignant tumors of the skin and mucous membranes. There are currently over one hundred strains of human papilloviruses (HPV) known, fourteen of which can cause cancer. Above all, HPV are known because they can also lead to cervical cancer in young women. In Austria, up to 400 women suffer from invasive cervical cancer each year. In more than 90 percent of cases, human papilloviruses are responsible. But even men can get sick. The treacherous: The disease usually occurs completely unnoticed and heals in the most common cases. Most sexually active people become infected with HPV viruses at least once during their lifetime. But sometimes the immune system is weaker than the viruses, of which there are more than 120 different types. Some of them are low-risk, other high-risk types. As a result of low-risk types, genital warts can develop on the vagina, penis, or anus. They can usually be treated well, however. After infection with high-risk types, especially HPV-16 and -18, a malignant tumor may be present in some cases. For women, the risk of developing precancerous lesions is as high as 40 percent. In men, malignant tumors are much rarer due to HPV. The possible consequences: A penile carcinoma or an anal carcinoma. Those who have oral sex with an infected partner, in which the viruses can also settle in the mouth and lead to oropharyngeal cancer. Is there a protection against HPV? Unfortunately, there really is not 100% protection. Even the use of condoms only reduces the infection rate – the viruses can also implant themselves in the surrounding skin areas. Currently used HPV vaccines for women protect against 70 percent of cancers caused by HPV and are recommended in the vaccination plan. Currently, the 4-fold vaccination, which must be given three times, costs a total of 570 euros. The high price is likely to be one of the reasons for the low acceptance of the vaccine: In Austria, the vaccination rate is just two percent. Austria is also the only European country that does not financially support the HPV vaccine.