Could You Have Cancer of the Penis?

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Cancer can happen in just about any part of the body, making it important to note when something’s abnormal. For men, that includes penile cancer.

Thankfully, penile cancer isn’t common if you live in the United States. It occurs in only about 1 percent of cancers in men, says the American Cancer Society.

But that doesn’t make it any less dangerous, especially if men don’t get things checked out early.

Don’t Wait

According to Men’s Health, one 25-year-old father is learning that lesson the hard way. Unfortunately, in this man’s case, the penile cancer wasn’t a mild form—the prognosis doesn’t look good.

This young father has gone through multiple rounds of treatments and surgeries, but to no avail. His best bet right now is to spend as much time with his loved ones as possible.

Yes, it’s a sad tale, but the message rings loud and clear. Men need to lay aside pride and embarrassment and get checked out if anything seems abnormal in this area.  

On a brighter note, the ACS mentions that men stand a good chance when diagnosed early. Specifically, they have an 85 percent 5-year survival rate if the cancer is still confined.

If it’s spread to nearby areas, they still have a nearly 60 percent survival rate.

Get the picture? The bottom line is to catch the problem early.

What to Look For

Are you wondering if you have penile cancer? Sometimes, changes in this area aren’t associated with cancer at all. You may have a simple infection, or the change may not be a problem in the first place.

But any changes do warrant a doctor’s check-up. The ACS recommends looking for signs on the skin of the penis, including changes in color, thickness, bumps or rashes. Lumps or irritating sores are bigger warnings that something is wrong.

A few factors that might increase your chances of getting penile cancer:

  • Smoking
  • HPV (Human papillomavirus)
  • Not being circumcised
  • Age (over 50 years old)

In addition to these, men should take good care of personal hygiene. Thorough cleanliness can keep unnecessary bacteria and infections away, and good hygiene is such a simple step for prevention.

Also, a weakened immune system from HIV or AIDS or a family history of this type of cancer may contribute to a greater risk. Maintaining safe sexual practices and good overall health could go a long way in these cases.

As the story of the young British father above shows you, it’s best not to wait. Many men—especially young men—can have a great chance at beating penile cancer. That is, of course, if pride or ego doesn’t get in the way of getting checked out.