About penis cancer
What is penis cancer?
Penile cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the penis.
The penis is a rod-shaped male reproductive organ that passes sperm and urine from the body. It contains two types of erectile tissue (spongy tissue with blood vessels that fill with blood to make an erection):
- Corpora cavernosa: The two columns of erectile tissue that form most of the penis.
- Corpus spongiosum: The single column of erectile tissue that forms a small portion of the penis. The corpus spongiosum surrounds the urethra (the tube through which urine and sperm pass from the body).
The erectile tissue is wrapped in connective tissue and covered with skin. The glans (head of the penis) is covered with loose skin called the foreskin.
Human papillomavirus infection may increase the risk of developing penile cancer.
What are the symptoms for penis cancer?
Changes in penis skin are the most common symptom of penile cancer. They can show up on the foreskin of uncircumcised men, on the penis tip (the glans), or on the shaft.
Symptoms of penile cancer include:
- Changes in skin thickness or color
- A rash or small crusty bumps on your penis; it can look like an unhealed scab.
- Growths that look bluish-brown
- A lump on your penis
- A bad-smelling discharge underneath your foreskin
- A sore on your penis, which may bleed
- Swelling at the end of your penis
- Lumps under the skin of your groin
These signs don’t always mean penile cancer. You might have an infection or an allergic reaction. But it’s important to tell your doctor about any unusual symptoms on or near your penis right away.
What are the causes for penis cancer?
Experts don’t know exactly what causes penile cancer. Research shows that it’s more common in men who:
- Have the human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Are over age 60
- Have a weakened immune system because of HIV or AIDS
- Aren’t circumcised. Fluids and a thick buildup called smegma can collect under your foreskin and might make cancer growth more likely.
- Have a condition called phimosis, which makes your foreskin tight and tough to clean. It can also lead to fluid buildup.
- Had psoriasis treatment with the drug psoralen and ultraviolet (UV) light
What are the treatments for penis cancer?
The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:
- The stage of the cancer.
- The location and size of the tumor.
- Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).
What are the risk factors for penis cancer?
Penis cancer occurs when cancerous cells in your genitals proliferate uncontrollably.
The risk factors for penis cancer include:
- Tobacco consumption- Cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco, and snuff use all raise your risk of developing penile cancer. Tobacco use can impair your body's ability to fight illness, increasing your risk. Tobacco usage can cause cell damage, which can lead to cancer.
- HIV- Penile cancer is more common in HIV patients (human immunodeficiency virus). The reason is unknown to researchers. It's probable that the same sexual habits that raise a person's risk of HPV infection (for example, unprotected intercourse, several partners, etc.) also raise the risk of HIV infection. It's also plausible that HIV infection alone raises the chance of cancer. The investigation is underway.
- Poor hygiene- Smegma can be increased by not cleaning your genitalia regularly or completely. Smegma is a buildup of fluids that your body naturally secretes. If you are not circumcised, smegma can accumulate below your foreskin and become thick and stinky. Smegma was originally thought to have cancer-causing characteristics; however, this is no longer the case. Smegma is more likely to cause irritation and inflammation, which may raise the risk of cancer.
- Lichen sclerosis - It is an inflammatory illness that can make your penis or foreskin unpleasant, irritating, or itching. If you have LS, you are more likely to develop penile cancer. Lichen sclerosis may also raise your chances of contracting HPV.
A non-painful bump or sore (that may bleed),Swelling and discomfort, particularly at the tip of your penis, Skin thickening or skin color change,Blueish-brown growths that are flat,Crusty bumps,Rashes.
The Cancer may spread to other parts of the body, particularly glands, organs, and lymph nodes.
Is there a cure/medications for penis cancer?
Penis cancer or penile cancer is a disease occurring in men.
1. The type of treatment and cure, and medications depend on which stage the cancer is, the size of the tumor, etc.
2. A multidisciplinary team works together to treat penile cancer that includes a surgeon, a urologist for urinary tract problems, a medical oncologist, and a radiation oncologist.
3. For penile cancer, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy is done.
4. Surgery includes different types, such as laser therapy can be done for early-stage penile cancer. A very powerful beam of light is used to destroy cancer cells.
5. Another surgery includes cryosurgery, in which liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and kill cancer cells.
Some of the drugs given for penile cancer are as follows-
6. Docetaxel etc.
Changes in skin thickness or color,A rash or small crusty bumps on your penis; it can look like an unhealed scab,Growths that look bluish-brown,A lump on your penis,A bad-smelling discharge underneath your foreskin,A sore on your penis, which may bleed,Swelling at the end of your penis,Lumps under the skin of your groin
Squamous cell or epidermoid carcinoma,Sarcoma,Melanoma,Basal cell carcinoma
Surgery,Cryotherapy- to freeze and destroy cancerous tissue,Mohs surgery- removal of the affected skin one layer at a time until they reach healthy tissue,Laser therapy to cut and destroy areas that contain cancer,Circumcision- to remove your foreskin