Association of hemospermia with prostate cancer

Misop Han, Robert E. Brannigan, Jo Ann V. Antenor, Kimberly A. Roehl, William J. Catalona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Purpose: Hemospermia is uncommon clinical condition that usually follows a benign course. The association between hemospermia and prostate cancer has been reported but to our knowledge not thoroughly investigated. We studied the incidence of hemospermia and the association between prostate cancer and hemospermia in a large prostate cancer screening population. Materials and Methods: Between 1991 and 2001, 26,126 ambulatory men 50 years or older (40 years or older with a family history of prostate cancer or black race) underwent a community based prostate cancer screening study using serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal examination (DRE). PSA measurement and DRE were repeated at 6-month or 1-year intervals depending on PSA for the remainder of the study. Men underwent prostate biopsy due to increased serum PSA (greater than 4.0 ng/ml until May 1995 or greater than 2.5 ng/ml after May 1995) or suspicious DRE. Men with a history of prostate cancer were excluded from study. Men completed a questionnaire, including information about hemospermia, at each screening visit. Hemospermia information from the initial questionnaire was analyzed. The relative risk of prostate cancer diagnosis in the overall prostate cancer screening population and the cohort with hemospermia was determined. Detailed prostate cancer characteristics were evaluated in those who had hemospermia and underwent radical prostatectomy. We used a multivariate logistic regression model to test the independent significance of hemospermia after adjusting for other known predictors of prostate cancer detection. Results: Prostate cancer was detected in 1,708 of the 26,126 men (6.5%) who underwent prostate cancer screening. Prostate cancer was diagnosed in 19 of the 139 men (13.7%) who reported hemospermia upon entering the prostate cancer screening study. The median age of the 139 men was 61 years (range 40 to 89). Ten of the 13 men who underwent radical retropubic prostatectomy had stage pT2 disease, while 3 had stage pT3 disease. In the logistic regression model hemospermia was a significant predictor of prostate cancer diagnosis after adjusting for age, PSA and DRE results (OR 1.73, p = 0.054). Conclusions: Hemospermia is rare (0.5%) in a prostate cancer screening population. When a man presents with hemospermia, prostate cancer screening should be vigilantly performed since hemospermia is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2189-2192
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Mass screening
  • Prostate
  • Prostatic neoplasms
  • Questionnaires
  • Spermatozoa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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