This is very rare cancer type that occurs on the surface of thepenis. The age group of men that are prone to it is 60 years. Changes in sexual practices have led to 20% increase cases of this cancer in the past 30 years. In this article, we are going to discuss it in detail.
What are its signs and symptoms?
The signs you should be aware of include growth on the penis that takes more than 4 weeks to heal, penis bleeding either from the inside or surface, a nasty smelling discharge from the penis, difficulty in drawing back the phimosis when penis or foreskin has thickened, color change of the foreskin or the penis and rashes on the peni’s skin.
When you experience any of the signs discussed above, then immediately consult your health care provider. This will increase the chance of a successful treatment of this cancer. There are high chances that these signs could not be of penile cancer, but it is important to go for check up if you experience these signs.
What are the types of this cancer?
Types of this cancer will depend on the tissue it is developed from, becasue the penis has different type of tissue. The common types include;
squamous cell cancer – starts in the cells found on peni’s skin, and accounts for 90% of the cases
carcinoma in situ cancer – a type that affects only the cells on th epeni’s surface
adenocarcinoma cancer – starts at the glandular cells that plays the major role of producign sweat
melanoma cancer – develops in the cells that provide the skin with its color
What causes this cancer?
The major causes of this penis cancer is not known, but the risk factors that may increase your chances of getting it is having the human papilloma virus – this virus has been found in 47% of men suffering from this cancer.
Another risk factor is the age. This cancer condition is common in men over 60 years of age and rare in men who are under 40 years of age. Smoking is also a common risk factor that may cause penile cancer, because cigarettes damage the cells of the penis.
Conditions like phimosis that make the foreskin or the penis to have difficulty in retracting, increases the chance of balanitis infections. Repeated infections are related to development of penile cancer types that make the immune system weak.
How is this cancer diagnosed?
When your doctor suspects that you may be a victim of penile cancer, he or she will direct you to a urologist who will examine you well. The urologist will ask about your symptoms, examine your medical history and physical signs of this cancer.
If he or she also suspects the signs to be of a penile cancer, a blood test will be done to examine the number of blood cells you have and your overall well being. For confirmation of penile cancer diagnosis, a biopsy is needed and a tissue sample will be examined under a microscope to confirm presence of cancerous cells.
How is this cancer treated?
Whether the treatment will be done by use of chemotherapy creams or by laser surgery depends on the size of the area that is affected. If surgery is done, then skin graft must be done.
Severe penile cancer is treated by use of surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. If treatment results into any physical changes around the penis, then a reconstructive surgery will be done.
How can this cancer be prevented?
The major way to prevent penile cancer is quitting smoking. Another way is maintaining proper penis hygiene to prevent infections that may lead to this cancer. You can manage to maintain hygiene by using latex condoms to prevent HPV infection or regularly cleaning your penis with warm water.
If you don’t want to be a victim of this cancer, then apply the above prevention tips. And when you experience any of the discussed signs above, seek an immediate medical attention from your health care provider.