Can you get cancer from having sex with a man who has prostate cancer?…Part Two-response to a comment.

better to live on the corner of the roof, than to share a house with a nagging wife...proverbs

North Georgia is known for being in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and for the small streams associated with that. The state fisheries department “stocks” the streams with Rainbow trout that they raise at various hatcheries. The state then takes them by truck and empties the fish into the small streams at bridge crossings. The “locals” know when the trucks are coming or they keep a look out for them and when they see them go by they follow them to see when and where they are stocking. They call their friends and get their rods and corn and go and catch the stocked fish often times depleting the trout before the unsuspecting or “un enlightened” can get there. I have fished out West many many years and out there the streams have native trout and lots of room for your fly line to flip about to put a fly where the fisherman wants. In north Georgia, the streams are small, they are stocked, and there is little room for the traditional fly fishing techniques. There are some spots on bigger streams with a wide area that can be fished like out West but they are not common. Some folks have bought sections of a river or stream, stocked it with Rainbows, fed them, and then let people for a price come in and fish for them. Big fish, still stocked, still not native, somewhat of a contrived fly fishing experience but an experience non the less for a price and pictures of the experience. The customer can now say that he dressed up like a fly fisherman, used a fly rod and has a picture of him and big fish held by the guide (they won’t let you touch the fish) to prove it.

I have attempted to catch stocked fish on many occasions. The limit is about 6 and they actually taste very good, the majority are about 8-10 inches long. They are raised on corn and so the locals will put corn on a hook with a worm and let it float naturally on the bottom to catch the trout. The locals will deplete the hole and by the time someone like me gets there the trout are few and far between. The rarely use fly rods for the purpose preferring an ultralight Zebco with 4 lb test to flip to the holes in tight spaces. I have been at a small stream to catch one of these stockers and have seen men from Atlanta all duded up in a $350 Orvis wading outfit, $500 fly rod and standing near a small hole with no room to cast and the line just sitting three feet in front with a fly. Unfortunately, I have never been very successful in catching stocked trout, regardless of the fishing device, or lure, or bait used. It’s not really a natural pursuit anyway and I think my heart is really not into it….especially when you see a guy in overalls and fishing with a Walmart rod and worm just killing the fishing and leaving with a stringer by the time I get there.

Now quickly, Chattahoochee Shoal Bass, like the one shown above. The perfect solution to fishing in North Georgia, using a fly rod or reel, and having plenty of room to fish…just like out west but no limitations to the size constraints of the river and no “stock fishing people” with corn around. These fish live in and about rocks, eat and behave very similar to trout, but are native, fight well and are in the Chattahoochee at its more northern distribution. I can but my flies or lures in a pocket of my shorts, get my fishing kayak and a cooler, and fish the whole river by going from rock to rock and getting out when I want using a rock in the middle of the river as a fishing platform or fish from the kayak. I can take my dog, I don’t need waders, a shirt, a tackle box, fishing at its most simplistic and finest nature.

The fish above was caught by casting a black worm to a rock cliff and letting the worm fall off the rock into the water to the immediate strike of the “shoalie.” Penelope, our Chocolate Lab, jumped in after it as well after it was hooked and swam around trying to catch the line and made the whole process of landing the fish that more interesting. I tried to film it but elected to just catch it and take pictures. We own one of the little cabins in the background, it was in one of these that I wrote a large portion of my book, and from the steps is where me and Penelope swam across to the rocks to fish. It don’t get no better than this, and all I need for an occasion like this is one fish. That supplies me adequately for my “fish fix.”

Now….Can you get cancer from having sex with a man or husband who has prostate cancer? Well…I hope not.

Recent comment on this blog by the wife of a prostate cancer patient:

You don’t know that there is no communicability of prostate cancer cells. There are many instances of cancers being spread by virus-like antigens; leukemias, cervical cancers– and there are some indications that a retrovirus may be involved with prostate cancer. In 2006, researchers associated a previously unknown retrovirus, Xenotropic MuLV-related virus or XMRV, with human prostate tumors. This retrovirus may very well travel between human beings.
That there are no direct links discovered as yet between prostate cancer patients and cancers found in their sexual partners certainly does not preclude those links ever being found. Your flippant dismissal of the legitimate fears of communicability (i.e. “so, good try girls” etc.) are insulting to women who are caught in this terrible situation with the men they love.
Shame on you.

The person’s comments above I think are well spoken and made me do some thinking and re-research on links between the male with prostate cancer giving the female he may have sex with cancer (she could not get prostate cancer, so we have to assume any question regarding this is getting a cancer in general…women don’t have a prostate and prostate cancer is a cancer of prostate cells).

I could not find any articles in the Journal of Urology that addressed the subject and all the “googled” references to the question made no link between the male with prostate cancer and the female. This excercise did prompts some thoughts and maybe more addresses the issue from a practical or pragmatic perspective.

  • Take any man that has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is not as if he got cancer the very moment he was diagnosed. Just like other cancers, the disease has been in the body long before the diagnosis was made. So for the male with the “diagnosis” of prostate cancer, he has been having sex with his wife for possibly years before the diagnosis was made, but yet having it in his body. What are we to do about this possibility?
  • Since 1 in 6 men ultimately get prostate cancer, should all concerned women have their men biopsied for prostate cancer before having sex with them. Not very practical and this is why I have elected to view this from a “common sense” approach as opposed to “well it is possible that a link will be found one day.”
  • If it is spread would it be through saliva? Would it be the cells and viruses in the sperm? Sperm would seem more reasonable-again most men have had prostate cancer years before it is diagnosed? Would a condom fix this? Should this be a recommendation of fearful women afraid to catch cancer from their husband-before or after the diagnosis is made?
  • Something to ponder…if cancer is spread from the man’s sperm…then for the man that has been treated for prostate cancer by a radical prostatectomy-he has no ejaculate. So is the man without a prostate who has prostate cancer but no ejaculate…is he safer for the female not getting cancer than the man who has prostate cancer but not diagnosed but has a “communicable ejaculate?”
  • Men who have been treated with radiation with time have little if any ejaculate…not because the prostate has been removed but the gland has been “dried up” by the radiation.
  • What kind of cancer would the female get? It won’t be prostate. Since the prostate is an “adenocarcinoma” or a cancer of a gland, would the female get a glandular cancer or just any cancer. This would work if the male suppressed the females immune system and then she’d be susceptible to any cancer?
  • Could a male get cancer from a female if she has breast cancer? They both have breasts.
  • And on and on and on….

Now to being flippant and insulting to women caught in this terrible situation (married to a man with prostate cancer-like my wife is):

  • I sincerely apologize if my response offended…I may too often try to use irreverent humor to make points…
  • The “good try girls” is a male thing and too was made in jest about the trite stigma of women trying to get out of having sex i.e. the old headache or menses thing. I again apologize for that…meant to be funny not insulting.
  • I believe that if a wife is concerned about catching cancer from her husband who has prostate cancer (by the way…having cancer and having been treated for prostate cancer are two different things-if you are treated and there is no evidence of disease i.e. negligible PSA then you don’t have cancer-you “had” it) the stress by worrying about catching cancer is a greater drag on her well-being than the chances of getting a cancer. My wife will correct me any time I say or imply that I have prostate cancer. “John you don’t have cancer.”
  • There is a difference, I would think, between the wife of a man with prostate cancer that has failed the initial treatment and has recurrent prostate cancer and the wife of the man who has been treated, most probably cured and has no evidence of residual disease.
  • I think it would make the wife of the man, who had prostate cancer that has spread  to his bones, think more about the possibility of the communicable nature of prostate cancer. So I feel it is a legitimate concern or question.

Summarizing…I am sorry to offend…I want to helpful in these issues and be clever with it in a knowledgeable way but not be “doctorish.” Take all with a grain of salt. Thinking about this issue…if you could spread cancer where would it end, look at all the cancers out there each with their own “virus” to spread and how that would affect relationships.

I think the reason this comes up more with prostate cancer than with other cancers is this…sperm. Subconsciously the female may be thinking that the fluid comes through the prostate and carries with it cells that then touch her tissues and then the possibility of getting cancer.

Well…it has never been shown, but as the commentor correctily states…”just because it hasn’t been proven that there isn’t a link doesn’t mean there isn’t one”…agreed.

So you men out there trying to get out of having sex because you have prostate cancer…sorry-not a good excuse…. Just kidding…..

14 Replies to “Can you get cancer from having sex with a man who has prostate cancer?…Part Two-response to a comment.”

  1. Tough one but prostate cancer, more than likely, appears to be specific and when it metastisizes it does so as prostate cancer. The issue of retroviruses is another possible problem which needs further study. When my husband’s biopsies kept coming back negative despite a rapidly rising PSA he stated “I don’t have cancer until they find it!” So ladies we may have to handle this issue the same way as right now we have no choice other than avoiding sex which is not my choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having had uterine cancer myself last year, my concern was this: Can I get a false positive on my follow up exams if my partner has prostate cancer (he does)? Is it possible for cancer cells to come out in the ejaculate, and could they be mistaken for metastasized cancer when cell samples are scraped from me?


  3. I understand that prostate cancer may be caused by HPV. If that’s the case, then having sex with a man with prostate cancer could give you HPV and consequently cervical cancer which could lead to cancer of the uterus????


    1. I am not aware of HPV as a risk factor for prostate cancer however I welcome comments/discussion of this. Depending on who you read and where you read it almost everything these days either prevents or causes prostate cancer.



    The female prostate and prostate-specific antigen. Immunohistochemical localization, implications of this prostate marker in women and reasons for using the term “prostate” in the human female.
    Zaviacic M1, Ablin RJ.
    Author information
    Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is currently the most frequently used marker for the identification of normal and pathologically altered prostatic tissue in the male and female. Immunohistochemically PSA is expressed in the highly specialized apically-superficial layer of female and male secretory cells of the prostate gland, and as well as in uroepithelial cells at other sites of the urogenital tract of both sexes. Unique active moieties of cells of the female and the male prostate gland and in other parts of the urogenital tract are indicative of secretory and protective function of specialized prostatic and uroepithelial cells with strong immunological properties given by the presence of PSA. In clinical practice, PSA is a valuable marker for the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases of the male and the female prostate, especially carcinoma. In the female, similarly as in the male, the prostate (Skene’s gland) is the principal source of PSA. The value of PSA in women increases in the pathological female prostate, e.g., carcinoma. Nevertheless, the total amount of PSA in the female is the sum of normal or pathological female prostate and non-prostatic female tissues production, e.g., of diseased female breast tissue. The expression of an antigen specific for the male prostate, i.e., PSA in female Skene’s glands and ducts, and structural and functional parameters and diseases similar to that of the male prostate, have provided convincing evidence of the existence of a prostate in women and definitive preference of the term “prostate” over that of Skene’s glands and ducts. The use of the term Skene’s glands incorrectly implies that some other structure rather than prostate is involved, promoting the vestigial position of this female organ.
    PMID: 10668204 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


  5. There is a link between HPV and prostate cancer! But they are in the baby stages of figuring it out. Right now they are saying in men with prostate cancer, having HPV 16 or 18 is a poor prognostic factor. I don’t think it’s a stretch to think some day they may find a link, but, in the meantime, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have your gynecologist ask for HPV screening at your next pap test!


  6. I’m a woman 46 years old every year since I was 16 years old I’ve been getting my annual check-up at my gynecologist. I’ve been getting good report of everything was fine I started dating a man for 3 years and in 2015 I was diagnosed with HPV I’ve never have problems until I started having sexual intercourse with this man. I’ve started investigating with him asking him questions. Which I found out he’s been having problems urinating and sometimes after having intercourse he would jaculate and blood from his penis. We are here now 2016 going into 2017 which is 2 years he’s been having this problem with blood coming from his penis I’ve told him many times please go to the doctor this seems to be a problem with your prostate. I’m no doctor I no that is not right I know prostate cancer itcauses you to have problem urinating. So now that I’ve been going to the doctor to get checked up every 6 months for my HPV levels it’s still there and I am worried that it’s coming from having sex with my partner who is ejaculated blood. What else am I to do my partner seems to be in denial about his health condition which leads me to believe he knows something is wrong and he just doesn’t want to know truth. A month ago he went to have an MRI done till this day November he’s still haven’t contacted dr. For his results. My worst fear is going to have my check up this month to find out that I may have cervical cancer.


  7. I have little education and the theory has been on my mind, that it may very well possible to contract some kind of cancer threw intercourse I believe. Possible that cell’s could creat a reaction intering a new system if you will, basically a new breeding ground. Not only threw sexual intercourse, but saliva as well. The human body is a amazing thing and it reacts to its environment I believe.


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