Hi, I’m Dr. Scholz. I’m a medical oncologist specializing exclusively in prostate cancer, and another common question that I’m commonly asked is “Can I spread prostate cancer to my significant other through sexual contact?”

And the simple short answer is no, you can’t. That is not a risk.

People want a little bit more background, “Well why can’t that happen?” And it’s really based in our immune systems.

Cancers that can harm us individually have to originate from us because they have the same identifying surface antigens that the rest of our body does, and this is why our immune systems have trouble recognizing these cancers and fighting them off. If a cancer cell from another person comes into your body it’s recognized instantly. I think a good example of this is how carefully people have to be matched when they go through a bone-marrow transplant. So when that is performed, people have to find someone with almost an entirely identical surface marker pattern so that the old immune system won’t attack and eliminate the new immune system and also so that the new immune system won’t attack the new host body. So the immune system is very smart about this stuff and this is why people are unable to transmit cancer from one individual to another.