Diseases / Penile Cancer

rare disease in the western world but it is a serious condition that would require timely diagnosis and treatment
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Penile cancer is a rare form of cancer that originates in the skin or tissues of the penis. While uncommon, its impact can be severe, making awareness and early detection crucial.

Risk Factors

Several factors can increase the risk of penile cancer:

  1. HPV Infection: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection can increase the risk.
  2. Smoking: Tobacco use can contribute to penile cancer risk.
  3. Age: Men over 60 are more susceptible.
  4. Phimosis: A condition where the foreskin cannot be retracted.
  5. Poor Hygiene: Unclean genital areas can up the risk.
  6. Multiple Sexual Partners: Increases the likelihood of HPV infection.
  7. UV Treatment for Psoriasis: Patients undergoing PUVA treatment might be at an increased risk.

Possible Presenting Features or Symptoms

Signs and symptoms include:

  • A lump or mass on the penis.
  • Change in skin color or skin thickening.
  • Foul-smelling discharge beneath the foreskin.
  • Persistent redness or rash.
  • Sores or ulcers that might bleed.
  • Pain in the affected area.

Treatments Available


Early and accurate diagnosis is pivotal:

  • Physical Examination: Initial evaluation of any lumps or abnormalities.
  • Biopsy: Removal of tissue for lab examination.
  • Imaging Tests: MRI, CT scans, or ultrasound to determine cancer’s spread.
  • Lymph Node Examination: To check if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

Treatment Options

Treatment depends on the stage and location of cancer:

  1. Surgery: Removing the tumor or part/all of the penis.
  2. Micrographic Surgery: Layer-by-layer tumour removal, preserving as much tissue as possible.
  3. Radiation Therapy: Using high-powered energy beams to kill cancer cells.
  4. Chemotherapy: Drugs to kill cancer cells.
  5. Lymph Node Surgery: If cancer has spread to lymph nodes.

Prevention Strategies

Reducing your risk involves:

  • HPV Vaccination: Protects against strains linked to penile cancer.
  • Safe Sexual Practices: Limiting sexual partners and using protection.
  • Avoid Tobacco: Quitting smoking reduces the risk.
  • Regular Self-Examinations: For any changes in the penis.
  • Maintain Good Hygiene: Regular cleaning of the penis and foreskin.

Further Reading

For comprehensive information on penile cancer:

In Conclusion

Awareness is the first step towards prevention. Regular health checks, awareness of the symptoms, and immediate medical consultation for abnormalities can go a long way in the timely detection and successful treatment of penile cancer.