Saturday, May 16, 2009

Is prostate cancer sexually transferable?

Little known fact: Many think women, because they don't have prostates, are immune from the threat of prostate cancer, but in fact females do have a prostate gland, located in the same area as the G-Spot, called Skene's glands. Doctors think these glands actually start out as prostate glands during pregnancy and as gender develops, they shrink in females while growing in males.

But the question is, does this make a female vulnerable to prostate cancer? And could a male partner with prostate cancer transfer those cancerous cells -- allowing them possibly to latch on to the Skene's glands -- through his semen? The Wall Street Journal attempts to answer this question.

In very rare cases, Skene's glands have become cancerous -- and the tumors cells give off prostate-specific antigen (PSA), just as male prostate cancer does. An article in the International Journal of Gynecological Pathology in 2004 reported the case of an 88-year-old woman who had a three-centimeter mass and an elevated PSA. She received external-beam radiation and was free of cancer a year later. The article noted it was the sixth case of such prostate-type cancers apparently originating in the Skene's glands.

Secondly, a study in 1998 demonstrated that prostate-cancer cells can be found in semen, although not with enough specificity to serve as a diagnostic test.

Still, that doesn't mean that prostate-cancer cells carried in semen could spread cancer to another person. "One person's cancer cells cannot be transmitted to another. Their immune system will kill them," Mark Scholz, the PCRI's executive director, wrote in an email.

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