Let's Talk Sex
October 9, 2012
Prostate cancer and sex

I know a lot of men are looking forward to this article, because sex is always a tabooed topic in our society; hence there is a lot of misinformation surrounding it.

What does prostate cancer have to do with sex? There is lots of bad information around, like the amount of sex influencing the development of prostate cancer, the occurrence of prostate cancer in homosexuals and whether prostate cancer can be spread through sex.{{more}} Indeed prostate cancer can be affected by sex, but not in the way you think. First:

Can too much or too little sex cause prostate cancer? The answer is a resounding NO! A lot of sex is thought to “clean” the prostate, but there are those who argue the opposite, saying a lot of sex can “irritate” the prostate and increase, not decrease, the risk of prostate cancer. However, studies on prostate cancer risks and causes show no correlation between the amount of sex and the incidence of prostate cancer.

Can homosexual sex increase your risk of prostate cancer? Again, NO! Homosexuals are not more at risk of prostate cancer than heterosexuals. The presence of HIV and human papilloma virus (HPV) may increase the risks of many types of cancer including prostate cancer, and this is irrespective to whether you are homosexual or heterosexual. Homosexuals were more at risk of contracting HIV, but now the fastest growing group to contract HIV is heterosexuals.

Can you spread prostate cancer through sex? I have this question a lot from the women of the men who have prostate cancer. The answer is NO again. You cannot get prostate cancer from your husband or boyfriend who has it, because women cannot get prostate cancer period! Even if some of the cancer cells come out in the semen, they will not “infect” you or attach to your cervix or vagina when making love. This is because a person’s cancer is theirs and not anyone else’s. Cervical cancer is more prevalent in younger, sexually active women and their boyfriends or husbands do not “catch” cervical cancer. Generally, you cannot get someone else’s cancer from contact with the cancer or else doctors will have a lot of cancers!

So, how do sex and prostate cancer get associated? Simple, the prostate gland is involved in sex and ejaculation, so everyone assumes any prostate disease must be caused by sex. This is not true. The only prostate disease caused by sex is prostatitis and this is not a cancer. Besides, most cases of prostatitis, especially in older men, are not caused by a sexually transmitted infection. Recently, a discovery was made in which they found HPV particles in the prostates of men suffering with cancer more than those not suffering from it. This indicates that HPV may have a role to play in prostate cancer, as it has in cervical and penile cancer, but we have not made the definite connection as yet. So, the only role that sex may have with prostate cancer is through “unsafe sexual activity” that leads to STIs with HPV. This is another call for men to use condoms to prevent the spread of STIs, including HIV and HPV, and hence reduce the incidence of penile, cervical, rectal and now possibly prostate cancers!

For comments or question contact:
Dr Rohan Deshong
Tel: (784) 456-2785
email: deshong@vincysurf.com