Oral sex is totally awesome, which means it must be bad for you in some way. And now we know how! Apparently, a rise in certain kinds of cancer may be thanks to all the oral sex everyone has nowadays.

You see, scientists have observed a rise in the rates of head and neck cancers in Americans—the kinds of head and neck cancers triggered by HPV. Which can be spread through, you guessed it, [puts tongue in cheek, moves hand]:

"It seems like a pretty good link that more sexual activity, particularly oral sex, is associated with increased HPV infection," said Dr. Greg Hartig, professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison....

Although the link between HPV and these types of cancers is indisputable, the association with oral sex is strong but a little more speculative, experts say.

A 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that younger people with head and neck cancers who tested positive for oral HPV infection were more likely to have had multiple vaginal and oral sex partners in their lifetime.

Luckily for rainbow party-attending, explicitly-sexting tweens, there's an HPV vaccine, though it's not as popular as it should be. For the rest of you? Well, you probably already have cancer, from your cell phone or your hot dogs or your insistence on sleeping inside an x-ray machine. So go ahead! Oral sex all you want!

[USAT; image via Shutterstock]