What Is Penile Cancer?
Penile cancer is the growth of cancerous cells on the external skin and in the tissues of the penis. Penile cancer is a rare disease usually found in men.
Different types of penile cancer can develop in different cells of the penis, which helps in determination the seriousness of the cancer and the type of treatment needed.
What Causes Penile Cancer?
The exact cause of penile cancer is still unknown. It might be the general hygiene and is much less common in men who have had all the parts of their foreskin removed soon after birth. This is due to the reason that the men who have not been circumcised may find it more difficult to pull back the foreskin enough to clean the underneath. The human papilloma virus (HPV) that causes penile warts also increases the risk of penile cancer.
If you ever notice the white patches, or red scaly patches of skin on your penis, it is important that you need to consult doctor for the possible treatment.
What are the symptoms?
There are known symptoms of penile cancer, such as change in color of the skin and thickening of skin. Other symptoms include a growth or sore on the penis, especially on the head of the penis, but also sometimes on the shaft of the penis. There could be discharge or bleeding. However, most penile cancer is painless.
The penile cancer is often visible when the foreskin is pulled back.
These symptoms may occur with conditions other than cancer. Like any other cancer penile cancer can be diagnosed and treatment
If the treatment is not taken on time, penile cancer spreads to other parts of the body (lymph nodes and groin).
How is Penile Cancer diagnosed?
The doctor will closely examine the whole of the penis and the lymph nodes in your groin. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes they may be enlarged. The doctor may take the sample of tissue from any sore or abnormal areas near the penis. The biopsies will later examined the tissues under microscope to see if there is any abnormal or cancerous cell.
What are the Stages of penile cancer?
The four major stages of penile cancer includes as follows:
Stage 1 – The cancerous cells are found only on the surface of the head of the penis.
Stage 2 – The penile cancer has spread to the surface of the glans, tissues beneath the surface, and even on the shaft of the penis.
Stage 3 – The cancerous cells have spread to lymph nodes in the groin.
Stage 4 – The disease has spread throughout the penis and lymph nodes in the groin, and has spread to other parts of the body.
What are the Treatment options?
Surgical treatment may be used to remove the part or the penile cancer, and any surrounding tissue that has become cancerous. It is the primary method of treatment for penile cancer or any other type of cancer.
Surgery – This involves an operation; an operation is done to remove the cancer. Surgery is often done if the cancer is only in one part of the body and has not spread across. The type of operation will depend on the area of body which is affected by the cancer and also on the size and the position of the cancer.
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is the use of high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells.