cancer can be spread from person to person!

The question is if cancer can be spread from person to person and Healthowealth has your answer. The answer is Cancer is not contagious in the traditional sense, and it is not a communicable or infectious illness. If you think that cancer can be spread from person to person by breathing the same air, sharing a toothbrush, touching, kissing, or having sex (unlike certain animals), you’re wrong. The immune system will identify and eliminate any foreign cells (including cancer cells from another person) with a few exceptions (organ transplant recipients, mother-to-fetus transmission, and a few uncommon instances).

However, cancer can be spread from person to person in some illnesses (such as some sexually transmitted diseases) can raise the risk of cancer in this case cancer can be spread from person to person. Furthermore, cancer may run in families, but rather than being passed down the generations, the risk is linked to genetic features (a genetic predisposition) or shared exposures that enhance the risk.s

Cancer and Infectiousness

Because cancer can be spread from person to person in certain animals, why is that not communicable in humans, is a fair issue that can be answered in a variety of ways.

The first approach to think about it is to imagine what would happen if a cancer cell from another person entered our body and why cancer can be spread from person to person (it would have to be directly transmitted because cancer cells cannot survive outside the body). Hugo Chavez, the former president of Venezuela, said that his adversaries were the ones who gave him cancer.

Cancer and Infectiousness
Cancer and Infectiousness

Two New York researchers conducted unethical experiments in the 1950s and 1960s in which they injected cancer cells into healthy convicts and cancer patients (the recipients were unaware of the experiment) to see whether they could “create” cancer. With one exception, the cancer cells were killed off by the recipient’s immune system before they progressed past the nodule stage.

Our immune cells recognize cancer cells from other people much as they would viruses or bacteria that cause sickness.

The trial was supported by the American Cancer Society and the US Public Health Service, and was justified by the researchers who sought to uncover strategies to create cancer immunity.

Melanoma cells were transplanted from a guy to his mother in another human trial to try to create cancer immunity, but the mother died of melanoma.

A 2015 research in The New England Journal of Medicine shows how cancer cells from a tapeworm penetrated a man’s body, spreading to numerous lymph nodes and his lungs. Normally, the immune system would not tolerate this, but the man had HIV/AIDS and was severely immunosuppressed. There have also been rare examples of cancer being transferred to a lab worker and a surgeon (through a needle puncture or a cut on the hand) (sarcoma). However, in these situations, the cancer cells developed locally where they entered the body, but did not spread beyond that point.

When looking at just how cancer grows, the lack of contagiousness of cancer is also well understood. Cancer cells form when a succession of mutations (in genes that govern cell development) causes the cell to expand out of control. Even when genes are broken, the human body possesses genes (such as tumor suppressor genes) that code for proteins that repair or destroy damaged DNA or cells.

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The absence of epidemics adds to the lack of contagiousness argument. Furthermore, oncologists and other health professionals who work with a significant number of cancer patients are not at an increased risk of developing the disease.

The absence of epidemics adds to the lack of contagiousness argument. Furthermore, oncologists and other health professionals who work with a significant number of cancer patients are not at an increased risk of developing the disease.

Transplantation of organs

Transplantation of organs
Transplantation of organs

The immune system, as previously said, destroys cancer cells from other people that invade our bodies. There have been examples of the idea that cancer can be spread from person to person by organ transplant, and transfusion-related malignancy is estimated to occur in around 3 out of every 5,000 transplant recipients.

Two elements contribute to this risk with organ transplants. One is that instead of only a few cancer cells being implanted in a person (as with a needle stick), a big number of tumor cells are implanted (from a mass in the transplanted organ). Furthermore, because of the drugs required to avoid rejection, these people’s immune systems are frequently badly harmed. It has never been proven that cancer can be spread from person to person by blood transfusion. Despite this, there are certain restrictions on when cancer patients can give blood.

Transmission from mother to child

There have been a few examples of the fact that cancer can be spread from person to person during pregnancy, which can happen in one of three ways.

To the infant, from the mother

cancer can be spread from person to person while tumors can travel to the placenta, cancer cells are normally prevented from reaching the infant by the placenta. The risk of cancer transmission is considered to be 0.000005 percent (1 in 1,000 pregnant women is thought to have cancer). Leukemia/lymphoma and melanoma are the most frequent cancers to transmit.

Leukemia transfer from twin to twin

cancer can be spread from person to person in this case, but remember that Transmission is extremely rare, but it does happen.


cancer can be spread from person to person in this case but it is an uncommon kind of malignancy that develops in the placenta. The tumor has the potential to spread to both the mother and the baby, and it is the sole incidence of cancer transmission from mother to child (from the womb to the mother, and then from the mom to receivers of the mother’s liver transplants).

Other Species with Contagious Cancers

Cancer has now been discovered to be passed on through eight distinct species. It’s considered that, unlike humans, this might happen because of a lack of genetic variety (genetic inbreeding), causing cancer cells from another member of the species to go undetected so cancer can be spread from person to person in some kind of animals. These are some of them:


The canine transmissible venereal tumor can be passed from one dog to the next by sexual contact or direct blood contact.

Tasmanian devils

A facial tumor in Tasmanian devils can be passed from one animal to another by biting.


Leukemia may be spread by filter-feeding in four different species of bivalves.


There have also been reports of reticulum cell sarcoma transmission between hamsters in previous research, as well as the possibility of mosquitos serving as a vector in transmission.

Infections that are linked to cancer

Infections that are linked to cancer
Infections that are linked to cancer

Most people consider that cancer can be spread from person to person. However, in these circumstances, it is the infection that may or may not (and in most cases does not) rise to communicable cancer, not the disease itself.

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Infections with these microbes are widespread, but malignancies that develop as a result of infections are uncommon. Furthermore, most cancers are multifactorial (caused by several variables), and other factors such as carcinogen exposure, immunosuppression, genetic factors, lifestyle, and others may interact with the infection to produce cancer.

Infections can cause cancer in a variety of ways. Some may promote cancer-causing inflammation (due to accelerated cell proliferation of repair cells), while others may cause immunosuppression. Others may directly harm DNA (causing mutations).

Infectious infections are considered to be responsible for about 10% of cancers in the United States, but this percentage jumps to over 25% internationally.

Viruses linked to cancer include the following:

  • HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted illness, and it has been related to cervical cancer, anal cancer, penile cancer, vaginal cancer, and head and neck malignancies. Infection with HPV usually goes away on its own, but if it persists, it can cause inflammation and cancer. Not all HPV strains are associated with cancer.
  • Hepatitis B and C are both linked to liver cancer and combined they constitute the leading cause of liver cancer in the world.
  • Epstein Barr virus (EBV) is well recognized for causing mononucleosis, but it has also been associated with a number of malignancies. It’s possible that it’s involved in 40 to 50 percent of Hodgkin’s lymphomas. While it is uncommon in the United States, it is linked to Burkitt’s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, gastric adenocarcinoma, and other cancers. While 90 percent of individuals are believed to be infected, only a tiny percentage of those afflicted develop cancer.
  • HIV/AIDS is linked to various forms of cancer, all of which are linked to immunosuppression.
  • In persons with HIV, Kaposi’s sarcoma is caused by the human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8) or Kaposi sarcoma herpes virus.
  • The human T-lymphotropic virus-1 (HTLV-1) is a virus that infects the lymphatic system of humans. While HTLV-1 infection is rather frequent, malignancies are uncommon.
  • Merkel cell polyomavirus: The Merkel cell polyomavirus is widespread across the world, however, it only causes Merkel cell carcinoma in a small percentage of cases.

Bacteria linked to cancer include the following:

H. pylori

Infection with H. pylori is linked to stomach cancer and peptic ulcer disease. The following are 2 cancer-related parasites:

Liver flukes

Two types of liver flukes have been associated with bile duct cancer and are most prevalent in East Asia.


This illness is linked to bladder cancer due to the worm that causes it.

Microorganisms on or in our bodies, in addition to these specific organisms, may be linked to an increased or decreased risk of cancer. The skin microbiome (normal bacteria that dwell on the skin) may be linked to the development of skin cancer15, and healthy gut bacteria may reduce the risk of lymphoma.

Cancers that run in family!

Cancers that run in family
Cancers that run in family

Cancers That Run in Families are a type of cancer that can be spread from person to person through generations.

Although genetics play a part in cancers that appear to be infectious (they run in families), malignancies are not directly spread from one person to another.

A person’s genetic susceptibility to cancer does not guarantee that they will get cancer. Hereditary cancer accounts for around ten percent of all cancers (the influence of genetics can vary by type). Many cancer-related gene mutations (such as BRCA mutations) originate in tumor suppressor genes. These genes code for proteins that either repair damaged DNA or kill the cell before it turns into a cancer cell. The mutant gene does not cause cancer in this situation, but it does interfere with the body’s capacity to repair damaged cells caused by environmental exposures and other factors.

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Cancer can seem to cluster in families even if there is no hereditary susceptibility. This might be due to common lifestyle practices (such as smoking or eating habits), or exposure to comparable carcinogens in the environment, such as radon in the house. Cancers can also be caused by viruses (such as hepatitis B) that are passed down through the family.

Intimacy for Cancer Patients

If you are asking that cancer can be spread from person to person by their intimacy your answer is no because cancer cannot be communicated by touching, kissing, or intercourse (with a few exceptions), it’s typically safe to be intimate, and closeness is actually encouraged.

Not only can intimacy assist a friend or loved one cope with their illness, but it may also alleviate any feelings of isolation that may arise throughout cancer treatment.

A few measures are necessary for people who have infections connected to cancer, as well as those who are dealing with cancer.

Precautions to Prevent the Spread of Cancer-Related Infections

Precautions to Prevent the Spread of Cancer-Related Infections
Precautions to Prevent the Spread of Cancer-Related Infections

HPV may be spread by sexual contact, and hepatitis B and C, as well as HIV, can be spread through sexual contact and blood contact. Hepatitis B is far easier to spread than HIV, and even sharing a toothbrush can result in infection.

Condoms, among other things, are used for safe sex. Hepatitis B, C, and HIV all require blood precautions. Immunization is the most effective strategy to prevent hepatitis B.

People Affected by Cancer

  • Women who are undergoing chemotherapy should wear a condom since some chemotherapy medicines have been linked to birth abnormalities.
  • If one or both partners have open sores, oral, vaginal, and anal intercourse should be avoided.
  • Sex should be postponed until your white blood count is higher if your white blood count is severely low (chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia). Oncologists disagree on what counts are considered too low, however, a threshold of 500 neutrophils or less is often utilized. White blood cell counts are normally at their lowest during the nadir phase.
  • Before intercourse, both lovers should wash their hands (or use hand sanitizer), and genitals should be cleaned.
  • To lessen the chance of a bladder infection, women should urinate soon after intercourse.
  • To reduce abrasion and the danger of infection, water-based lubricants should be used.
  • Sex should also be avoided if your platelet count is low (chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia), which is commonly defined as a platelet count of fewer than 50,000.
  • If your lover is sick, you should definitely avoid close contact with him or her.

Loved Ones of Cancer Patients

Chemotherapy medications can be found in saliva, sperm, and vaginal fluids. Your loved one’s physician may advise against having sex just after a chemotherapy injection, but this isn’t always the case. Women who are or may be pregnant should discuss probable exposure and timing with their partner’s oncologist.

Your radiation oncologist may advise you to avoid close contact with some forms of radiation, such as internal radiation (brachytherapy) or radioactive iodine treatment, especially if you are pregnant.

If, after reading the article “Understanding if cancer can be spread from person to person“, you liked it and became interested in studying in other fields of health and medicine, we suggest you read the following articles from the category cancer on our website.


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HealthoWealth Team

A group of students from prestigious universities are present in Healthowealth team. This group use reliable scientific sources and work under the supervision of experts and specialists to gather beneficial info in a simple way for public usage. This info is collected from authentic sources and with great precision, but keep in mind that if you have a serious illness, at first visit a specialist to be treated by doctors order. At least avoid self-medications!

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