Penile Cancer

penile cancer

Penile Cancer

Not a thought that any guy wants to contemplate and fortunately is very rare at less than 1 in 100,000.

Penile cancer, usually occurs on the foreskin or glans (head) of the penis in men over the age of 60yrs. Men with the HPV (wart) virus, poor hygiene and who are smokers are also at an increased risk. It presents as a non-healing sore or lump and sometimes with lumps in the groin. If a doctor suspects cancer, a biopsy (removal of a small portion for testing) will need to be performed, along with a CT and/or MRI scans.

The main treatment for penile cancer is normally surgery, where partial removal (usually the whole head) or even total penis removal is performed. A recent publication reported on a form of radiation treatment call Brachytherapy. This treatment involves small wires of radioactive material being inserted into the cancer, to kill the cancer while sparing the rest of the penis. This study followed over 200 men for over 10yrs and reported 79% of patients survived, and survival without any recurrence of tumour was 82%.

Good to know there is an alternative to having your penis removed – hopefully none of us ever need to consider this.

European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology (ESTRO 2017). Abstract OC-0466, presented May 9, 2017.