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Cancer of the back of the mouth and throat is on the rise, primarily because of more cases stemming from a viral infection called human papillomavirus (HPV), researchers report in a new study.

The number of people who were diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancer in 2004 was triple the number diagnosed in 1988, due largely, researchers suspect, to changes in sexual behavior that have helped spread the virus.

HPV is a very common sexually transmitted infection that can cause genital warts and certain cancers, including of the cervix, anus and penis.

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