The recent news that Michael Douglas' oral cancer may have been caused by the sexually transmitted disease, Human papillomavirus (HPV), has attracted international media attention, but it has also revealed low awareness about the condition.
Cancers at the back of the tongue and in the tonsils have become more common over the past 20 years, with many of these linked to HPV 16 infection. Some experts believe that one of the main ways the virus spreads to the back part of the mouth and throat is through oral sex.
Michael Douglas' recent comments on oral sex, HPV and cancer have generated headlines for all the wrong reasons. But why does it take a celebrity to get ill before we talk about health and is accuracy more important than raising awareness?