Ask the Doctor
November 5, 2013
Can you get cancer from someone who is diagnosed with it?

Dear Doc,

Can I get cancer from someone who is diagnosed with it?


Dear Glenroy,

No and Yes!!!

I know that I just made someone lose a few dollars from losing a bet. But it also means that I just made someone a few dollars richer.{{more}}

Now I will endeavour to make everyone richer with information. It is true that cancers are not contagious. What I mean is that if someone is diagnosed with a cancer you would not get it by touching, breathing air from the same room or using the same utensils. Cancer spreads when cancerous cells migrate and establish themselves within different parts of the body where they can further expand. The environment allows them to proliferate because these cells are accepted by the body as its own.

Understanding what is explained above immediately opens a window to see how it is possible to get a cancer from someone else. The most obvious way is if an organ or other tissue that contains a cancer is transferred to someone else and the condition is made for that organ or tissue to survive. Many years ago if you were to answer this question “yes”, you would be the laughing stock of the class. In today’s world, with the number of transplants of organs and tissues we do there are people who get cancers from others. A most recent story from North America chronicled a situation where a man died of a uterine cancer; he received a kidney transplant from a female who had uterine cancer.


SVG Cancer Society,
P.O. Box 709, Kingstown.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 526-7036