A website for discussions about any type of cancer, including lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, laryngeal cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and others
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: can you get cancer from sharing needles?

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    6

    Question can you get cancer from sharing needles?

    my girlfriend and i are junkies. Trying to become former junkies but its not always easy. she got news the other day that she has kidney cancer and cancer cells in the bloodstream in addition to her cervical and ovarian cancer. the day before she decided to shoot up oxycontin for the first time because we ran out of suboxone and were both very sick. I am a addict who injects. I have never shared needles before but it is possible that i might have used hers because i dont think i destroyed it after she used it like i usually do.

    So is it possible to get cancer sharing needles with somebody who has cancer in the bloodstream? I'm almost sure you can't get it from unprotected sex, but of course i am very concerned right now.

    Also I know the dangers of iv drug use so please do not judge me. I am a good person who got in a bad position. I dont steal or scam for drugs. I work very hard doing construction and it is nearly impossible for me to get to work let alone put in a 12 hour day while dope sick.

    Thank you for reading and hopefully responding with an accurate answer for us.

    Best of luck and strength to all who are dealing with cancer themselves or through a loved one.

    David

  2. #2
    Top User topazil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    971
    Cancer is not contagious, No type of cancer is contagious. However, there are two known contagious viruses, HPV and Hepatitis C, that can cause cancer. HPV is a known risk factor for cervical cancer and Hep C causes liver cancer. Both viruses can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, although Hep C is more often transmitted through blood to blood contact such as sharing needles and transfusions.
    Last edited by topazil; 09-06-2010 at 09:24 PM. Reason: Answering the question and that is all
    Total hysterectomy July 23 2008, mass in colon.
    Colonoscopy Aug 2008
    Rigid Sigmoidoscopy with a laparoscopic-assisted partial colectemy with enbloc small bowel resection Sep 2008
    Diagnosed: Stage IV Colon Cancer mets to lungs and liver. (T3,N2,M1,G2) KRAS Mutation
    Started chemotherapy: 09/14/09 Folfox-6/Avastin then Camptosar/Avastin & last Folfox-6/Avastin
    On Hospice, started 11/12/10
    Last PET scan: Oct 12th
    Most recent CEA Level: 09/27/10: 696.7 up from 08/16/10: 284.8

  3. #3
    Senior User susan92084's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    148
    i'm inclined to agree with topazil, with the addition of hep B that can be spreed by sharing needles. the bottom line is that you can't get cancer it's self from sharing needles but you can get a virus that can or will cause cancer. besides that unless you both get clean it it makes treatment difficult these meds can not only mess up your amune system but may interact with chemo which could be deadly. also it is important that your doctor knows exactly what she is taking and if she has a slip up. it is going to be harder for both of you to quite, because she may need to take pain meds at some point and that is a really strong temptation. but if you care about her at all you need to kick the habit and help her. because she will have bad days, and so will you. don't go through this alone find a support group to help you quite do whatever it takes.

    i wish you both the best of luck.
    -25 married to josh who is the one with cancer. he is 26
    -diagnosed may 12th 2010
    - extranodal nk/ t-cell lymphoma nasal type
    -after 6 weeks of radation it spreed from stage 2 to stage 4
    -4 rounds of smile chemo therapy later it was in remission
    - dec 19th 2010 allogenic bone marrow transplant
    -january relapse
    - long story short docs are confused as to why he is still alive
    -started a new chemo folotyn (pralatrexate injection)

  4. #4
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by topazil View Post
    . I will add one thing and one thing only, why would your question be "Can I catch cancer by sharing needles with her" rather than "What can I do to help her?"
    Thank you for your responses.

    I would like to make it clear that even though i call ourselves junkies, we are actually in recovery. I went very successfully through the methadone program until my job hours made that impossible. And they respected my efforts so much that i was the first person in my state to get take homes before 2 years...and i got them afrter 8 months. but they could only do that for a month and the job lasted 3 months.

    We have been using suboxone. we get it on the street because it is cheaper. When we used this time that i was talking about it was our first time using in 2 months. I didnt realize i would still get sick after that long of using just suboxone and for her its mostly for pain now (and her first and only time using a needle outside the hospital, and my only time that if i shared it was accidental). we dont have insurance so they wont give her meds unless she shows up and stays for a few hours.

    I know that you guys dont know our situation well and junkies get a bad rap anyway, even recovering junkies, but to say that i dont value her life is an asinine assumption. I have done all the homework with doctors and online that i possibly could. I decided to ask this one question that did not affect her treatment in an anonymous setting.

    I do appreciate you responding but in the future please dont make those kind of assumptions or accusations about peoples intentions. That being said, I wish you the best for you and your family in this difficult time.
    Last edited by david-jackie; 09-06-2010 at 02:09 AM.

  5. #5
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    6,622
    David-Jackie

    I hope you did get the information you were seeking. Addiction is a disease and the stigma that follows it is horrible. I truly wish you both well in the battle you're both in and the one you'll both be in with her advancing cancer.

    God bless both of you.

    PBJ
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  6. #6
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    8,278
    Blog Entries
    2
    Hi David-Jackie

    As mentioned while you cannot get cancer from sharing a needle but you can get many other diseases from sharing needles which can trigger cancer such as HIV, Hep B & C and HTLV, amongst many others.

    Likewise you cannot get cancer from having unprotected sex with someone but you can catch diseases which can trigger cancer such as Chlamydia.

    I hope that is of some help to you.

    Good Luck
    Age 57
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011
    NED on the 2/01/2013
    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  7. #7
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by pbj11 View Post
    David-Jackie

    I hope you did get the information you were seeking. Addiction is a disease and the stigma that follows it is horrible.

    PBJ
    Thank you pbj - i was a bit upset because the replies tended to focus more on drug use rather than cancer. But I probably brought that upon myself. We are not regular users anymore, but i dont like to lie to myself by saying i am anything but a junkie until i am completely recovered. I tend to talk too much about it because in the past couple years i have realized how much it is taking away from me.

    I realize you (all replies commenting about the drugs) were just concerned and trying to help, but like pbj said the stigma is horrible, and i expect negative judgement from anybody who hasn't been through full on detox.

    Anyway we are doing better than expected trying to get completely well from our addiction. We don't like the drugs anymore. If we had suboxone we would never touch them. Methadone is just as bad if not worse. I got on a suboxone mailing list today as well as contacted several doctors in the past week looking for something affordable.

    I hope any more posting we do here will not be effected by this post. Like I said, I talk myself down to help myself realize continuing down this path is pathetic. But hopefully that part of our struggle will be forgotten after this.

    Thank You

  8. #8
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    6,622
    I understand David, as someone extremely near and dear to me went through what you are doing now. By God's grace and a lot of guts, he overcame his disease. It has cast a shadow over him like none I've ever seen before. I also understand stigma's because my husband passed away from lung cancer, ergo... it was his fault, even though he had stopped smoking decades before he was diagnosed. It's a silly world how things are viewed, but I honestly think that everyone here had their hearts in a good place. I've watched these people who posted to you, post for a long time now, and they are very courageous and sensitive people.

    God's blessings again.
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  9. #9
    Top User topazil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    971
    I edited my original post and I am editing this one to say simply, she is in my thoughts and prayers.
    Last edited by topazil; 09-08-2010 at 06:42 PM. Reason: Well wishes
    Total hysterectomy July 23 2008, mass in colon.
    Colonoscopy Aug 2008
    Rigid Sigmoidoscopy with a laparoscopic-assisted partial colectemy with enbloc small bowel resection Sep 2008
    Diagnosed: Stage IV Colon Cancer mets to lungs and liver. (T3,N2,M1,G2) KRAS Mutation
    Started chemotherapy: 09/14/09 Folfox-6/Avastin then Camptosar/Avastin & last Folfox-6/Avastin
    On Hospice, started 11/12/10
    Last PET scan: Oct 12th
    Most recent CEA Level: 09/27/10: 696.7 up from 08/16/10: 284.8

  10. #10
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    8,012
    Blog Entries
    5
    Hi david-jackie. I am so sorry about your girlfriend's cancer. It is not easy to live and support someone affected by this terrible disease. I cannot even imagine how hard it must be to remain in recovery. I commend both of you for that.

    As others have said, you cannot "catch" any form of cancer. Cancer is a kind of cell mutation that causes cells to multiply fast than normal cells. It is possible for two people who live together to develop the same kind of cancer. After all, they most likely share the same environment and carcinogens.

    You know about the normal dangers in sharing needles or otherwise you would not even think about the need to ask this question It sounds like you have tried to avoid sharing needles very well. I certainly voice my encouragement to you both to continue to fight both of these terrible diseases. You and your girlfriend are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

  11. #11
    Senior User susan92084's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    148
    what i forgot to include in my original post is why you can't get cancer from sharing needles, even if there are cancer cells on the needle, the cells can't grow in your body they are too diffrent from your own cells and your amune system would attack them. this is why when you have a tissue or organ transplant you have to go on amune suppressive drugs to keep your body from rejecting it. but there probably wouldn't any living cells on the needle. viruses live longer out of the body then blood cells.
    -25 married to josh who is the one with cancer. he is 26
    -diagnosed may 12th 2010
    - extranodal nk/ t-cell lymphoma nasal type
    -after 6 weeks of radation it spreed from stage 2 to stage 4
    -4 rounds of smile chemo therapy later it was in remission
    - dec 19th 2010 allogenic bone marrow transplant
    -january relapse
    - long story short docs are confused as to why he is still alive
    -started a new chemo folotyn (pralatrexate injection)

  12. #12
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by susan92084 View Post
    even if there are cancer cells on the needle, the cells can't grow in your body they are too diffrent from your own cells and your amune system would attack them.

    This makes sense and i assumed they wouldn't live too long outside the body, but where we have no insurance and enough bills i wanted to be 100% sure without going to the hospital or having her deal with the embarrasment of asking the doctor for me. The one real person I mentioned it to got really afraid for me and that got me nervous. We are both adamant about not sharing even water or other supplies.

    So thanks again and I am thinking that there is a chance that somebody else could have been 10% unsure about the subject also but was too afraid to ask anybody.

    I also am going to make a serious effort to not buy any more syringes. It's not a subject i talk about normally except to other people who also inject. So the only person who ever tells me its a bad idea is my girlfriend. I know better myself, but the poke is actually a harder habit for me to mentally deal with than the actual drugs. Physically the withdrawals are hell but i am past the worst of that and feel the best i have in the past 3 years of my almost 20 year habit.

    I dont want to change the forum topic here of ramble on, but i just wanted to thank you for the constructive criticism. because i need it.
    In real life i would have felt attacked. But you guys are going to make me try a little harder for myself, and maybe that little will be the last bit i need.

    And Topazil, you didnt need to edit your posts or feel bad. I am not the type to argue or fight in a forum. With what you have dealt with during your illness of course you would have responded that way. I probably did sound like i was acting a little selfish, but it wasnt intentional by any means. So you are all good with me.

    ---

    They found another couple tumors on her kidney the yesterday and she starts chemotherapy instead of radiation tomorrow. They gave her 65% survival if things didnt get too much worse. That was the day before they found these. She is only 26 btw with no history of cancer in the family. Neither one of us has really slept. I have to get ready for work now (wednesday) and i only have had 2 hours sleep since i woke up 6am sunday morning.

    I think it will help talking to you guys tho. I am going to do some more reading here tonight and maybe we will post something about how she is doing. This is much better for me than all the medical and wiki sites i have been spending time on.

    Best wishes

    David
    Last edited by david-jackie; 09-08-2010 at 09:17 AM. Reason: exhausted rambling

  13. #13
    Senior User susan92084's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    148
    65% is hard to hear. especially when they find out something else after that. my husband had a 40% chance of survival before they found it on his liver and abdominal lymph nodes. and you just want to ask "ok so what is the survival rate now" but you can never bring yourself to ask because you know it can't be good news.


    best of luck with your girlfriend's chemo
    -25 married to josh who is the one with cancer. he is 26
    -diagnosed may 12th 2010
    - extranodal nk/ t-cell lymphoma nasal type
    -after 6 weeks of radation it spreed from stage 2 to stage 4
    -4 rounds of smile chemo therapy later it was in remission
    - dec 19th 2010 allogenic bone marrow transplant
    -january relapse
    - long story short docs are confused as to why he is still alive
    -started a new chemo folotyn (pralatrexate injection)

  14. #14
    Top User topazil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    971
    (((((((((((((Hugs)))))))))) I wish the best for both of you and keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Total hysterectomy July 23 2008, mass in colon.
    Colonoscopy Aug 2008
    Rigid Sigmoidoscopy with a laparoscopic-assisted partial colectemy with enbloc small bowel resection Sep 2008
    Diagnosed: Stage IV Colon Cancer mets to lungs and liver. (T3,N2,M1,G2) KRAS Mutation
    Started chemotherapy: 09/14/09 Folfox-6/Avastin then Camptosar/Avastin & last Folfox-6/Avastin
    On Hospice, started 11/12/10
    Last PET scan: Oct 12th
    Most recent CEA Level: 09/27/10: 696.7 up from 08/16/10: 284.8

 
+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Thank you for posting and sharing
    By grouchyeve in forum Lung Cancer Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-26-2012, 02:18 AM
  2. Just sharing ........
    By topazil in forum Colon Cancer and Rectal Cancer Forum
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 03-29-2010, 06:35 PM
  3. sharing the timeline of my dad's cancer
    By sillysparrow in forum Lung Cancer Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-14-2009, 10:30 PM
  4. Sharing and Living
    By mssue in forum Breast Cancer Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-21-2005, 04:47 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts