In men, penile cancer may not be as prevalent as prostate, lung or colorectal cancers, but they can be just as dangerous. While many men do not recognise the need to seek medical attention for penile skin changes, it is vitally important. When penile cancer is detected early, it can often be treated effectively and even cured with little to no resulting damage to the penis. If you have a history of penile warts, or tested positive for HPV, or have an uncircumcised penis, you might want to read on.
1. Lack of Circumcision Can Increase Penile Cancer Risk
Penile cancer in circumcised men is extremely uncommon. On the other hand, men with intact foreskin are nearly twice as likely. This could be due to a condition called phimosis where the foreskin is difficult to fully retract. Doctors observed that the countries with a history of performing circumcision reported much lower rates of the disease than those that did not. National Cancer Awareness Day 2019: Top Cancer-Causing Foods You Should Stop Eating Right Now!
2. Exposure to HPV Puts Men at Risk
A prior infection or genital warts also increases the risk of penile cancer. This often is a result of HPV, which is the most common virus for getting warts. Especially when you do not follow good hygiene, the foreskin area can become a danger zone for a host of harmful viruses such as HPV and HIV. Skin Cancer Prevention: 4 Tips Apart from Using Sunscreen That Will Protect Your Skin from Damage.
3. Penile Cancer Is Common In Older Men
Men older than 60 are majorly at risk of penile cancer. This is mostly because phimosis which exacerbates exposure of the head of the penis to possible carcinogens such as HPV is slightly higher in older men. How to Clean Your Penis After Sex – Sexual Hygiene for Men.
4. The Condition Shows Up As Warts and Skin Rashes
While penile cancer typically shows up as those classic warts, flat red areas on the head of the penis or the foreskin can also be signs that you are headed for some serious trouble. They manifest as a rash or an infected lesion similar to those resulting from STDs like herpes. The lesions can also be accompanied by fever and in severe cases, one may also experience a blockage of the urinary passage.
5. The Treatment Can Entail Partial or Complete Removal of The Penis
At about 80 to 90 percent of the time, penile cancer is diagnosed at a curable stage where the treatment usually starts with a tissue biopsy of the penis. If the cancer is caught early, penile sparing surgery or partial penectomy is recommended. The penile length is maintained in partial penectomy that allows men to urinate standing up. However, if the condition is detected at an advanced stage, patients have to go through complete removal of the penile gland or penectomy. In the case of complete penectomy, the removal is generally followed by a procedure called perineal urethrostomy, where the outlet of urine is moved to behind a man’s scrotum.
If there is a risk of metastasis, the next step of treatment entails a groin-lymph node dissection, where groin incision is made to eliminate the chance of the cancer spreading.