So are Michael Douglas's comments medically correct.
There are more than 100 variants of HPV, otherwise known as the human papilloma virus, and they appear in different parts of the body and manifest in different ways – some, for example, can cause warts (including genital warts), while in most cases most appear symptomless
HPV is really, really common – to the point that if you're a sexually active adult, you've probably had it. By the age of 25, 90% of sexually active people will have been exposed to some form of genital HPV (whether high or low risk), almost none of whom will ever have had any visible warts or other symptoms.
US study found the prevalence of HPV in the mouths of men was 10%, versus 3.6% for women. Overall, HPV-related oral cancers are most common in heterosexual men in their 40s and 50s, leading the NHS guide to conclude that:
This indicates that performing cunnilingus (oral sex on a woman) is more risky that performing fellatio (oral sex on a man). This seems counterintuitive, but the concentration of HPV in the thinner moist skin of the vulva is mugh higher than the amounts of virus shed from the thicker dry skin of the penis, and this affects how easy it is to pass the virus on.Douglas used HPV to exonerate smoking for his particular cancer. Unfortunately, the evidence suggests he wasn't quite right to do so. Most people rid themselves of HPV within a few years of catching it – but smoking disrupts this process, meaning the virus remains for far longer in smokers than non-smokers, increasing their risk of HPV-related cancers of all varieties.