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All About Penile Cancer

What is the Penile Cancer?

Penile cancer is an unnatural growth of cells on the skin or in the tissues of the penis. 95% of penile cancers are squamous cell carcinoma.

This is slow-growing cancer in its early stage and the patient doesn’t cause any symptoms in this stage. The symptoms can be noticed in an advanced stage.

Many patients also ignore the symptoms and try to treat themselves with skin creams and medications. Till the patient get a consultation from the doctor the situation gets worsen. A delay in diagnosis and therapy not only affects the likelihood of survival but also limits the ability to retain a functioning and cosmetically satisfactory result.

What are the symptoms of penile cancer?

  • An area of skin becoming thicker.
  • Changes in skin colour.
  • A lump.
  • An ulcer (sore) that might bleed.
  • A reddish, velvety rash under the foreskin.
  • Small, crusty bumps.
  • Flat, bluish-brown growths.
  • Smelly discharge (fluid) or bleeding under the foreskin.

What are the risk factors of penile cancer?

  • Infections like HIV /AIDS, HPV, genital warts,
  • Poor hygiene
  • Balanitis and penile injury-inflammation of the foreskin, and glans penis has three times increased risk of penile cancer
  • Phimosis-unable to retract foreskin can be a risk factor in the development of penile cancer.
  • Others—Age(rare seen <50yr), Lichen sclerosis, Tobacco chewing, exposure to UV etc

How to prevent Penile Cancer?

  • HPV vaccines reduce the risk of Penile Cancers
  • The use of condoms is thought to be protective against HPV related penile cancers
  • Genital Hygiene habits like washing the penis, the scrotum, and foreskin, daily with water, can prevent balanitis and penile cancer.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Circumcision in childhood may provide partial protection against penile cancer.

What is the treatment of penile cancer?

Several treatment options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, biological therapy.

You should visit a urologist near you if you any of the symptoms of penile cancer. Early detection of penile cancer increases the chances of survival.