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Cancer and a kiss
Mar 15, 2003

Doctor, I had oral cancer and underwent surgery to remove a malignant lymph node in my neck. I also got a radio-therapy. This was in March 2000 (3 years back). Now I feel perfectly normal. I have typical problem. I have a normal sexual behaviour but my wife is always scared of having sex with me. Lately she accepted to have sex but strongly refuses a lip to lip kiss. She does not wish to take any of my body fluid (saliva, semen) inside her because of fear. I am very much obsessed with kissing and feeling desparate to have it with her. Is it really dangerous? Please advice.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Your query is heart-breaking and unfortunately all-too-familiar to me. The type of cancer you had (oral cancer) is NOT contagious. You can't get if from kissing. I imagine, however, that a simple e-mail from me will not suffice to get your wife to get back to kissing. She, and probably both of you, need to go through counselling. Although her fears are not based on anything scientific, they are nevertheless real to her and as such, they need to be dealt with. Please realize that what she is experiencing is not uncommon. As I've written above, I hear the same thing from many couples. Hang in there buddy.

HIV+ with metastatic melanoma of the lymph system
Lymphoma with CMV and HIV

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