Ever Heard Of Penile Cancer? Here's What You Should Know
This World Cancer Day, learn all about penile cancers.
Penile cancer is one of the rarest types of cancer
- Penile cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed or treated in time
- Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for 95% of penile cancer cases
- Smoking is a potential cause of penile cancer
Cancer of the external male sexual organ is known as penile cancer. This one takes place as a result of uncontrolled growth of cells in and on the penis. Though this form of cancer is very rare, it can be life-threatening if not diagnosed or treated in time. There are certain signs and symptoms of this condition which you can watch out for. Though they may not necessarily mean penile cancer, they could still be indicative of the budding stages of the disease. For timely treatment, you need timely diagnosis. So as soon as you notice any such symptoms in your body, check with a doctor.
1. Skin changes
To begin with, you will notice changes in the skin of the penis. It is most likely to be on the tip of the penis, the foreskin or on the shaft. Some of the possible changes include:
- Thicker skin in some parts
- Changes in skin color
- Lump on the penis
- An ulcer that is likely to bleed
- Smelly discharge of the penis
- Rashes on the penis
Some sores of the penis may not necessarily hurt. But irrespective of that, you should check with a doctor.
2. Swelling at the end
You may notice swelling at the end of the penis, where the foreskin is constricted. This is a potential sign of penile cancer. Check with a doctor when you notice this.
You may even notice lumps on under the skin of your groin area. It may often travel from the lymph nodes to the groin. As a result, the nodes swell up. Due to this, you may feel these nodes under the skin as lumps. Now this may happen in some cases because of an infection, but it may even indicate penile cancer.
What are the different types of penile cancers?
Almost all types of penile cancers develop on the outward skin of the penis.
1. Squamous cell carcinoma
This one accounts for 95% of the cancer cases. In this condition, a thin layer of skin develops on the surface of the skin. This usually shows on the head of the penis, or on the foreskin of men who haven't been circumcised.
This is the condition of the pigment of your skin, melanin. This one grows quickly and is more dangerous than other forms of cancer.
3. Basal cell carcinomas
This condition grows slowly and does not usually spread to other parts of the body. This one can form in the sweat glands or the blood vessels of the penis.
How likely are you to get penile cancer?
Doctors usually do not point out the reason responsible for penile cancer. However, there are certain factors which make people more prone to this condition.
1. 35% penile cancer cases are due to the sexually transmitted disease HPV.
2. Circumcision is important. Men who haven't been circumcised are at a higher risk of this condition.
3. Men above 60 years of age are at a higher risk of penile cancers.
4. AIDS makes you more prone to penile cancer.
5. Smoking is a potential cause of penile cancer.