Penile cancer

Penile cancer

Penile cancer, often known as cancer of the penis, is a rare type of cancer that attacks the penis’ skin and tissues. It happens when typically healthy cells in the penis get malignant and start growing out of control, resulting in a tumour.


Penile cancer symptoms and treatment (1050 × 620 px)


Types of penile cancer

Cancer of the penis begins as a type of skin cancer. It can occur in the following forms:


Symptoms of penile cancer

The earlier a man is diagnosed with penile cancer, the better. If it’s discovered early on, there’s a strong chance it’ll be treated successfully and cured. The condition can worsen if diagnosis is delayed. Treatment for advanced cancer is likely to be less effective and disfiguring.

When you urinate, you may see and feel your penis, which can aid in early detection of the condition. Penile cancer is more likely in men who haven’t been circumcised. However, every man should be aware of the signs and symptoms of penile lesions.

If you see any of the following on your foreskin, shaft, or head of your penis, you should see your doctor:

  • An area of skin becoming thicker and/or changing color
  • A lump on the penis
  • An ulcer (sore) that might bleed
  • A reddish, velvety rash
  • Small, crusty bumps
  • Flat, bluish-brown growths
  • Smelly discharge (fluid) under the foreskin
  • Swelling

The majority of these symptoms could be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection, as well as an allergic reaction. Antibacterial and antifungal ointments and lotions will help with all of them. However, recurring growths or unhealed wounds must be considered cancer unless proven otherwise.

Unfortunately, penile cancer is frequently overlooked until it has progressed. Patients are hesitant or ashamed to discuss their genitals. They may also be terrified of penis treatment or surgery. If you observe any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with a health care practitioner as soon as possible.


Causes of penile cancer

Body fluids trapped in the foreskin are thought to be the source of penile tumours. If they aren’t wiped away on a regular basis, they have the potential to cause cancer. Penile cancer is more common in older men and smokers. Penile cancer can be caused by diseases like AIDS.

The human papillomavirus is another probable cause (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus. Antibodies to HPV-16 have been discovered in a large number of penile cancer patients. HPV has been linked to cervical cancer in the past.


Risk factors for penile cancer

Penile cancer is more frequent in people who have not had their penises circumcised. This could be because those with uncircumcised penises are more likely to develop other penis-related disorders including phimosis and smegma.

The condition phimosis occurs when the foreskin becomes tight and difficult to retract. Smegma is a common complication in people who have phimosis.

Smegma is a material that forms behind the foreskin when dead skin cells, moisture, and oil gather. It can also happen if the area under the foreskin isn’t adequately cleaned, which can lead to inflammation.

People may also be at an increased risk of penile cancer if they:

  1. are over age 60
  2. smoke cigarettes
  3. do not clean the area under the foreskin properly
  4. live in a region with poor sanitation and hygiene practices
  5. have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as the human papillomavirus (HPV)


Diagnosis of penile cancer

A biopsy is used to diagnose penile cancer. A small sample of tissue from the penis is extracted and examined under a microscope. The cells will be “staged” if they resemble cancer cells. The TNM staging system is the most commonly utilised system. The letter T denotes the main (primary) tumour (how far it has grown within the penis or nearby organs). The letter N indicates for lymph node spread to neighbouring lymph nodes (bean-sized groups of immune system cells). M stands for metastasis (the spread of disease) to other organs.

A “grade” is also assigned to the cells. This is a metric for how aberrant the cells appear to be. The grade is usually a number between 1 and 4, with 1 being the lowest and 4 being the highest. The higher the number, the more out of the ordinary the cells appear. Higher-grade.


Treatment of penile cancer

If penile cancer is detected early, it can be treated successfully and with minimal risk. A skin cream may be used to treat a tumour that is on top of the skin. There aren’t many adverse effects with this cream. Small lesions can also be treated with external beam radiation.

A tiny local excision or “Moh’s surgery” may be performed if the lesion is larger but still the size of a pea. This is a sort of surgery in which aberrant tissue is scraped away layer by layer until normal tissue is reached. Both of these treatments should leave the penis looking and functioning normally. However, cautious follow-up is required to ensure that there is no early return. It’s unlikely that cancer has spread from minor lesions.

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  • March 25th, 2022

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