Not Just For Men: Can Women Develop Prostate Cancer?


Not Just For Men: Can Women Develop Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of neoplasms in men. In the U.S. only, more than 150,000 cases occur each year, which basically means that 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with this cancer during his lifetime. But can a woman develop prostate cancer? The answer is hidden inside the differences between male and female anatomy.

Female prostate cancer?

Women do not have prostates and that’s why they cannot have prostate cancer. However, this statement can be disproved. Women have small glands and ducts on the front side of the vagina, which are called Skene’s glands and often referred to as “female prostate.” Both male’s prostate and female’s Skene’s glands produce a special enzyme called prostate specific antigen (PSA) and PSA phosphatase (PSAP). So the question is can women develop cancer of the Skene’s glands?

The answer is yes, but the chances are extremely low. According to studies, female prostate cancer accounts for 0,003 percent of all genital-urinary tract cancers.

What are the symptoms?

There weren’t many cases in medical history, so it is very hard to identify this type of cancer. There are no specific symptoms of female prostate cancer.

Therefore, it is very important to visit a doctor in case you experience the following general signs:

  • troubled, painful, and frequent urination;
  • blood in your urine;
  • pain during sexual intercourse;
  • feeling pressure behind your pubic bones;
  • any abnormalities regarding your menstrual cycle;
  • bleeding out of your urethra.

These signs, however, can indicate other serious conditions, including:

1. Cysts

Cysts can form on any glands in our body, and the Skene’s glands are no exception. Although typically, cysts can clear out on their own, the doctor can drain them if they are uncomplicated.

2. Infection

Men can have prostatitis. While many doctors identify female prostatitis as an infection of the urethra, some studies show that Skene’s glands also can become infected. Moreover, STDs can also spread to the female prostate.

3. Adenofibroma

This non-malignant growth can occur on any glandular or fibrous tissues in your body. Typically, you will need surgery to remove them, as they can cause unpleasant symptoms such as pain during sex.

4. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

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PCOS is a condition caused by hormonal disorder typically in women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS usually have increased levels of androgens (male hormones) and menstrual cycle irregularities. Studies show that levels of PSA (a hormone produced by the Skene’s glands) is higher in women with PCOS.

Unfortunately, there are no apparent ways to reduce the risk of developing female prostate cancer. Many doctors believe the only available way so far is to lead a healthy lifestyle, avoid drinking alcohol and don’t smoke. Take care and stay healthy!


This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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