Prostate cancer: Can I transmit cancer to my partner during sex?

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Prostate cancer: Can I transmit cancer to my partner during sex?

Question

Is it possible to transmit prostate cancer to my wife through semen?

Don
Maryland

Answer

No. Prostate cancer cannot be passed from one person to another through semen. Cancer itself is not contagious — even through intimate contact, such as kissing, intercourse or oral sex.

Although the prostate gland makes semen, cancer cells cannot be transmitted via semen. To test this theory, scientists have tried to grow prostate cancer cells from semen — but have been unsuccessful.

In addition, cancer cells from one person's body simply can't start growing in another person's body. According to the American Cancer Society, all cells are fragile and require the proper conditions to survive. Also, the other person's immune system would recognize the cancer cells as foreign invaders and destroy them.

Certain sexually transmitted viral or bacterial infections increase the risk of some types of cancer. But no one can "catch" cancer from another person.

Last Updated: 01/10/2006
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