All About Penile Cancer

What Is Penile Cancer?

Cancer that begins inside or on the surface of the penis is called penile cancer. It is the most common cancer in men in the United States and the fifth most common cancer worldwide. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 29,140 new cases of penile cancer will be diagnosed in 2019. About half of all penile cancers are prostate cancer that has spread to the penis. The other half are penile cancers that start in other parts of the body like the rectum. Penile cancer is usually diagnosed when it has already metastasized (spread) beyond the site of origin. The erratic growth of cells is the initial step in the development of cancer. Cancer can start in cells in virtually any part of the body, and once it does, it can quickly spread to other areas of the body. 

In Reference To The Penis

The penis is the male genital organ that is visible to the outside world. Additionally, it is a component of the urinary system. It is composed of a wide variety of body tissues, the most notable of which are blood vessels, nerves, smooth muscle, and skin.

The male reproductive system includes the glans, foreskin, shaft, scrotum, and anus. The head of the penis is referred to as the glans, while the main portion of the penis is referred to as the shaft. The glans are protected by a piece of skin that is known as the foreskin, or prepuce, at the time of birth. A procedure known as circumcision is typically used on infant boys in order to remove their foreskin. But this procedure is not necessarily performed everywhere.

There are three chambers contained within the penis, each of which is lined with a network of blood vessels. On either side of the upper portion of the penis are two of these chambers that are shaped like cylindrical tubes and are known as the corpora cavernosa. The third chamber, also known as the corpus spongiosum, is located below these two chambers. This chamber expands to form the glans as it nears its conclusion. The urethra is a long, thin tube that emerges from the bladder and passes through the penis. This tube is surrounded by the corpus spongiosum. Urine and sperm are expelled from the body via the meatus, which is a passageway located in the glans of the penis. Urine and sperm travel through the urethra before exiting the body.

A man’s nerves send a signal to his body to store blood in the vessels found inside the corpora cavernosa so that he can achieve an erection. As the chambers become more full of blood, the spongy tissue expands, and the penis becomes more rigid and grows longer. During the process of ejaculation, the fluid known as semen travels through the urethra, which contains sperm cells and fluids, and then exits the body through the meatus. As soon as ejaculation is complete, blood begins to flow back into the body, and the penis regains its suppleness.

What Type Of Cancer Is Penile Cancer?

It is the most common type of cancer in men, accounting for about 5% of all cancers in men. Penile cancer generally occurs in men over the age of 50, but it can also occur in younger men. The most common form of penile cancer is called Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC).

Penile Cancer Symptoms/Signs

Penile cancer is deadly cancer. Symptoms of penile cancer may include: a lump or sore on the penis; a change in the shape, size, or color of the penis; pain when urinating; difficulty getting an erection; and loss of sexual function. The presence of the following signs and symptoms does not necessarily indicate that a man has penile cancer. In point of fact, a significant number are far more likely to be brought on by other conditions. However, if you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible so that the underlying cause can be identified and treated, if necessary. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the sooner treatment can begin, and the greater the likelihood that the treatment will be successful. Penile cancer is treated with surgery and/or radiation therapy. Let’s look into the signs and symptoms in detail:

Skin Changes

Most of the time, a change in the skin of the penis is the first indication that a person has penile cancer. This is most likely to be found on the glans (tip) of the penis or on the foreskin (in men who have not undergone circumcision), but it can also be found on the shaft. These changes might include the following:

  • A region of the skin that is becoming more robust
  • Changes in the color of the skin
  • Lumps at several places
  • A sore or ulcer that has the potential to bleed.
  • A rash that is reddish and velvety under the foreskin.
  • Crusted bumps of a small size
  • Growths that are flat and a bluish-brown color
  • Under the foreskin bleeding or discharge (fluid) that smells bad.

Penile cancer can sometimes manifest as sores or lumps, which may or may not be painful. Even if it is not painful, you should make an appointment with a medical professional if you discover any kind of new growth or other abnormality on your penis. Any change that does not improve within approximately four weeks, or that gets worse, should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

Swelling

An additional possible sign of penile cancer is swelling at the end of the penis, particularly when the foreskin is constricted. This symptom is more common in men. There is a possibility that the foreskin will be more difficult to retract.

Subcutaneous Bumps In The Region Of The Groyne Area

If cancer originates in the penis, it almost always spreads to the lymph nodes in the groin first before reaching other parts of the body. This has the potential to swell those lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are collections of cells that are part of the immune system. In their normal state, they are about the size of beans and can hardly be felt at all. If the lymph nodes are swollen, they may have the consistency of smooth lumps underneath the skin.

However, it is not always the case that cancer has spread to the lymph nodes if they become swollen. In response to an infection, lymph node enlargement is the most common symptom. Even if cancer hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes in the area, the skin that covers and surrounds penile cancer can frequently become infected, which can lead to swelling in the lymph nodes of that area.

How Do I Know If I Have Penile Cancer?

If you have unexplained pain or bleeding in your penis, or if the lump changes in size, shape, or color, see a doctor. Penile cancer is a potentially fatal disease that can affect men of all ages. Most cases are diagnosed when cancer has already spread beyond the area where it was first found. You can avoid penile cancer in its early stages if you diagnose and treat it on time. So, the first step here is to start noticing the symptoms. If you find any relatable symptoms it may not be necessarily related to penile cancer but you may find out any other small or big disease. Once you contact your doctor, they will make you perform relevant tests based on your symptoms. And if any cancer is diagnosed then you will undergo relevant treatments. And if cancer is not diagnosed in your body then you can feel relaxed and ask your doctor what are those symptoms related to.

Penile Cancer Age

The patient’s age is another factor that raises their chances of developing penis cancer. The likelihood of developing penile cancer is proportional to one’s age. This condition almost never strikes men and anyone younger than 40 years old. Penile cancer is diagnosed in approximately four out of every five men who are over the age of 55. In the United States, the typical age of a man at the time of his diagnosis is around 68 years old. However, because the disease can be difficult to detect early, many men who develop penile cancer don’t know until it is too late. If caught early, almost all penile cancers can be successfully treated with surgery or radiation therapy.

Penile Cancer Causes

Risk factors vary depending on the type of cancer being treated. Changes can be made to certain cancer risk factors, such as quitting smoking or limiting sun exposure. Others, such as a person’s age or the history of their family, simply cannot be changed. However, at the same time having one or even a number of risk factors does not guarantee that a person will develop the disease. On the other hand, there are some men who are diagnosed with penile cancer despite having no identifiable risk factors. Here are some risk factors that, when present in a man’s life, increase the likelihood that he will develop penile cancer:

Infection With The Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

The human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, is a cluster of more than 150 viruses that are related to one another. They are referred to as papillomaviruses because some of them are responsible for the development of growths known as papillomas (more commonly called warts). Warts can be caused by a wide variety of HPV strains and can appear in a variety of locations on the body. Condyloma Acuminata is a type of wart that is raised and bumpy. They are caused by certain types of HPV that can infect the genital organs and the anal area (or just condylomas).

Several other types of HPV have been associated with particular cancers. One potential contributor to the development of penile cancer is an infection with certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). In point of fact, HPV is identified in approximately half of all cases of penile cancer.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) can be transmitted from one individual to another through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected area of the body. The human papillomavirus (HPV) can be passed on through sexual contact in any of its three forms (vaginal, anal, and oral), but sex is not required for the infection to be passed on. All that is required is direct skin-to-skin contact with an HPV-infected area of the body in order to contract the virus. It is also possible for an infection caused by HPV to spread from one area of the body to another. For instance, an infection might begin in the genital region first and then move to the anus.

Infection with HPV is quite common. In the majority of men, the infection is eliminated naturally by the body. However, for some people, the infection does not clear up and instead develops into a chronic condition. Chronic infection, in particular with certain types of HPV, has been linked to an increased risk of developing several cancers, including penile cancer. It’s possible that men who don’t get circumcised have a higher risk of getting infected with HPV.

Not Getting Circumcised 

The foreskin is cut off completely (or in part) during the process of circumcision. This operation is performed on infants the vast majority of the time, but it can also be done at a later age. Men who were circumcised as children may have a significantly lower risk of developing penile cancer compared to men who were not circumcised when they were younger. In point of fact, there are those in the medical community who believe that cancer can be avoided by having a baby circumcised. When performed on an adult, circumcision does not have the same protective effect as when performed on a child.

It is not entirely clear why men who have been circumcised have a lower risk, but it may be related to other risk factors that are already well known. For instance, men who have had their foreskins circumcised are unable to develop a condition known as phimosis, and they do not build up the substance known as smegma. Penile cancer is more likely to occur in men who have the conditions of smegma or phimosis. It is more likely that one of these conditions will occur first in a man if he does not undergo circumcision until a later age.

When assessing the pros and cons of circumcision, medical professionals take into account the fact that penile cancer is extremely rare in the United States, even in the population of men who have not undergone the procedure. Despite the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that the health benefits of circumcision in newborn males outweigh the risks, it has also stated that these benefits are not sufficient to recommend that circumcision be performed on all newborns as a matter of course. In the end, decisions regarding circumcision are extremely personal and frequently depend more on social and religious factors than on evidence from medical studies.

Phimosis And Smegma

Penile cancer is more likely to occur in men who have not undergone circumcision and who also have certain conditions.

Phimosis

When a man is not circumcised, the foreskin can sometimes become taut and difficult to retract. This is more common in uncircumcised men. This condition is referred to as phimosis. Phimosis is associated with an increased risk of developing penile cancer in men. It is not entirely clear why this is happening, but it could have something to do with the accumulation of smegma or with the inflammation that results from phimosis.

Smegma

It’s possible for secretions to accumulate even beneath a foreskin that’s still intact. If the area under the foreskin is not cleaned properly, the secretions that collect there can accumulate to the point where they become a vicious and sometimes unpleasant substance known as smegma. Smegma is more prevalent in men who have phimosis, but anyone who has a foreskin runs the risk of developing the condition if the foreskin isn’t retracted frequently enough to clean the head of the penis.

In the past, there was apprehension among some professionals that smegma might be contaminated with carcinogenic compounds. The majority of knowledgeable individuals in this field currently agree that smegma is not likely to be the root cause of penile cancer. However, this can lead to irritation and inflammation of the penis, which can increase the likelihood of developing cancer. It may also make it more difficult to detect cancers in their earliest stages.

Consuming Or Using Tobacco Products In Any Form

Penile cancer is more likely to occur in men who smoke cigarettes or use any other kind of tobacco product. Those who use tobacco and already have an HPV infection have an even greater risk. Using tobacco puts your body in contact with a large number of chemicals that can cause cancer. Either the noxious substances are inhaled into the lungs, from which they are absorbed into the blood, or the tissues of the mouth are used as a conduit for their absorption into the blood. They can cause cancer in many different parts of the body because they can spread through the bloodstream to all parts of the body. The researchers think that these substances cause damage to genes that are found in the cells of the penis, which can lead to penile cancer.

Psoriasis Treatment With Ultraviolet Light

Psoriasis, a form of skin disease that primarily affects men, can be treated with a combination of a class of drugs called psoralens and then an ultraviolet A (UVA) light source. This treatment is known as PUVA therapy. It has been discovered that there is an increased risk of penile cancer in men who have undergone this treatment. Men who are being treated with PUVA now have to keep their genital areas covered while they are receiving treatment in order to help reduce the risk of this happening.

Age

The likelihood of developing penile cancer is proportional to one’s age. In the United States, the typical age of a man at the time of his diagnosis is around 68 years old. Penile cancer is diagnosed in approximately four out of every five men who are over the age of 55.

AIDS

Penile cancer is more likely to develop in men living with AIDS. It appears that this increased risk is connected to the patient’s weakened immune system, which is a direct result of the disease. However, it is also possible that it is connected to additional risk factors that men who are infected with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) are more likely to have. For instance, men who are infected with HIV have an increased risk of smoking and contracting HPV.

Types Of Penile Cancer

There are several types of penile cancer which include the following:

#1 Squamous Cell Or Epidermoid Carcinoma

Epidermoid carcinoma, also known as squamous cell carcinoma, accounts for 95% of penile cancer cases. This indicates that, when viewed through a microscope, the cells have the same appearance as the tissues that comprise skin. Any part of the penis is a potential starting point for squamous cell carcinoma. However, it can sometimes develop underneath the foreskin as well. In most cases, epidermoid carcinoma can be cured if it is detected at a relatively early stage.

#2 Basal Cell Carcinoma

It is possible for basal cells to develop into cancerous cells. These are the round cells that can be found in the layer of skin known as the lower epidermis. They are found directly beneath the squamous cells. Basal cell carcinoma is a type of non-melanoma skin cancer. The percentage of penile cancers caused by basal cell carcinoma is less than 2%.

#3 Melanoma

Melanocytes are dispersed throughout the epidermis’ most superficial layer, which is the basal layer. Melanin, the pigment that determines a person’s skin tone, is produced by these cells. Melanoma starts in melanocytes. This particular form of skin cancer is the most dangerous one. The surface of the penis can occasionally become infected with this form of cancer. Get more information about melanoma.

#4 Sarcoma

Sarcomas account for approximately 1% of all penile cancers. Sarcomas are cancerous growths that originate in the connective and supporting tissues of the body, such as blood vessels, muscle, and fat. Get more information about sarcoma.

How Penile Cancer Is Diagnosed?

A biopsy is typically performed in order to diagnose penile cancer. The procedure involves removing a small sample of tissue from the penis and examining it under a microscope. The cells will be considered “staged” if they have the appearance of cancer cells. The TNM staging system is the method that is utilized the majority of the time. The letter T denotes the primary (primary) tumor (how far it has grown within the penis or nearby organs). N indicates that cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the area (bean-sized groups of immune system cells). The term M which is “metastasis” refers to the spread of cancer to other organs.

A “grade” is also assigned to each of the cells. This provides an indication of how abnormal the cells appear to be. The grade is typically expressed as a number, ranging from 1 to 4. When the number is higher, the cells appear to have more abnormalities. Cancers of a higher grade have a greater propensity to grow and spread more rapidly than cancers of a lower grade.

Imaging Tests

Additional tests will be performed on you if your doctor suspects that cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the area. The stage and grade of cancer can be determined with the help of a lymph node biopsy. Image-gathering procedures, also known as imaging tests, can produce pictures of the inside of your body by using x-rays, magnetic fields, or sound waves. Imaging tests (such as a CT scan or MRI) will be carried out in the event that it is suspected that cancer has spread to other areas of the body. In the event that tests reveal cancer, prompt treatment, and consistent monitoring are going to be of the utmost significance. If the doctor has reason to believe that cancer has spread to other parts of the body, then one or more of these tests may be performed in order to assist in determining the stage of cancer.

Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan)

A computed tomography (CT) scan creates in-depth images of your body by cutting it into sections and using x-rays. It is possible to determine the size of the tumor and whether or not cancer has spread to other lymph nodes or other areas of the body using this method.

During a CT-guided needle biopsy, CT scans are utilized to direct a biopsy needle into an enlarged lymph node or another area that has the potential to be affected by cancer. In order to accomplish this, you will remain seated on the CT table while the attending physician inserts a biopsy needle through your skin and into the mass. Repeated CT scans are performed until the needle is completely inserted into the mass. After that, a biopsy sample is extracted and sent off to be examined more closely by a microscope.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRIs, much like CT scans, are capable of producing detailed images of the body’s soft tissues. However, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans do not use x-rays but rather a radio waves and powerful magnets.

When taking MRI pictures, it is helpful to have the penis in an upright position. To achieve the desired result of an erection, the physician may inject the penis with a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin.

Ultrasound

The images of internal organs or masses that are produced by ultrasound are created by using sound waves. Discovering the extent to which cancer has spread into the penis can be an extremely helpful piece of information. It is also useful for locating lymph nodes in the groin that have become enlarged.

This examination will not cause you any discomfort, and you will not be exposed to any radiation. The majority of ultrasound exams begin by applying gel to the patient’s skin in order to lubricate it. The transducer is then moved over the skin of the penis by a technician.

X-ray Of The Chest

In order to determine whether or not cancer has spread to the lungs, an x-ray may be performed.

Is Penile Biopsy Painful?

A penile biopsy is a diagnostic procedure that involves taking a sample of the penis for examination. Although it may not seem like it, a penile biopsy can be quite painful. The area being biopsied is numbed with a local anesthetic before the sample is taken. Occasionally, patients experience mild pain after the procedure. If pain remains severe or continues for more than a few days, it should be reported to the doctor.

Penile Cancer Treatment

Patients who have been diagnosed with penile cancer have access to a variety of treatment options. Some treatments are considered the gold standard (the treatment that is most commonly used), while others are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. A clinical trial of treatment is a type of research study that is conducted to assist in the improvement of existing treatments or to obtain information on new treatments for patients who have cancer. If clinical tests demonstrate that a new treatment is superior to the treatment that is currently being used, then the new treatment might replace the treatment that is currently being used. 

Here are the different types of treatment that are used to cure penile cancer:

#1 A medication

Here is a list of common drugs that are used for the treatment of penile cancer:

  • Cisplatin 
  • Ifosfamide (Ifex)
  • Paclitaxel 
  • Fluorouracil (5-FU)

Some of the less commonly used drugs include:

  • Bleomycin (Blenoxane)
  • Docetaxel (Taxotere)
  • Gemcitabine (Gemzar)
  • Methotrexate (multiple brand names)
  • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)

Most of these mediations require a proper prescription from the doctor and they have to be consumed under their guidance only. It’s possible that you can only get them through participation in a clinical trial. Having a conversation with your physician is the most effective way to obtain information about the medications that have been prescribed for you, including the potential for adverse effects or interactions with other medications. Chemotherapy can cause a variety of bad side effects, the severity of which depends on the patient as well as the dosage administered. These side effects may include fatigue, an increased risk of infection,  hair loss, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. After treatment has been completed, patients usually don’t experience these adverse effects. On the other hand, some adverse effects may be long-lasting or manifest themselves at a later time; we refer to these as late effects. For example, the use of chemotherapy has been linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease as well as other cancers, which are referred to as secondary cancers.

#2 Surgery

At any stage of the disease, penile cancer is almost always treated through surgical excision. One of the following surgical procedures could be used by a physician to remove cancer:

  1. Mohs Surgery

Mohs microsurgery is a technique in which layers of the tumor are removed from the patient’s skin one at a time. During the surgical procedure, the margins of the tumor as well as each layer of the tumor that is removed are examined under a microscope for any signs of cancer cells. The layers keep getting peeled away until there are no more cancer cells to be found. As little healthy tissue as possible is removed during this procedure, which is typically performed to remove cancer that has spread to the skin. This type of surgery is also known as Mohs surgery.

This surgical process involves a number of stages and is used to remove a visible lesion from the skin. To begin, a very thin layer of cancerous tissue is excised from the body. After that, a second, much thinner layer of tissue is excised and examined for the presence of cancer cells under a microscope. One layer at a time, additional layers are removed until a microscopic examination of the tissue reveals that there is no trace of cancer remaining. When performing this kind of operation, the surgeon will attempt to remove as little normal tissue as possible.

  1.  Lasers

The term “laser surgery” refers to a type of surgical procedure that makes use of a laser beam, which is a narrow beam of intense light, as a “knife” to make cuts in tissue that are free of blood loss or to remove a surface lesion such as a tumor.

  1. Cryotherapy 

Cryotherapy is a type of treatment that involves the use of an instrument to cause abnormal tissue to freeze and then be removed. Cryosurgery is another name for this form of medical treatment.

  1. Circumcision

In circumcision, the foreskin of the penis is surgically removed, either in part or in its entirety.

  1. A Penectomy

A penectomy or penis amputation refers to a surgical procedure in which some or all parts of the penis are removed. Partial penectomy is performed when only a portion of the patient’s penis is removed. A total penectomy is one in which the entire penis is removed surgically. During surgery, the lymph nodes that are located in the groin might be removed.

Some patients may undergo additional treatment following surgery, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, in order to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. This is done after the surgeon has removed all visible cancer at the time of the procedure. Adjuvant therapy is a type of treatment that is administered after primary surgical treatment in order to reduce the likelihood that cancer will return.

#3 Radiation And/Or Chemotherapy

Radiation therapy is a treatment for cancer that involves subjecting cancer cells to high-energy x-rays or other forms of radiation in order to kill them or prevent them from growing. Radiation therapy can be broken down into two categories:

The radiation for external radiation therapy comes from a machine that is placed outside of the patient’s body and directed toward the area of the body where the cancer is located.

In internal radiation therapy, a radioactive substance is encased in a needle, seed, wire, or catheter and delivered directly into or in close proximity to the area where the cancer is located.

The type and stage of the cancer being treated will determine the specifics of how the radiation therapy will be administered. Radiation therapy, both external and internal, is utilized in the treatment of penile cancer.

Chemotherapy is a treatment for cancer that involves the use of drugs in order to stop the growth of cancer cells. This can be accomplished in one of two ways: either by killing the cells or by preventing them from dividing. The chemotherapy drugs are absorbed into the bloodstream when the treatment is either taken orally or injected into a vein or muscle. This allows the drugs to reach cancer cells located anywhere in the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is applied to a patient’s skin directly (a process known as “topical chemotherapy”), or when it is injected into the cerebrospinal fluid, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs primarily affect cancer cells in those specific locations (regional chemotherapy). The type and stage of cancer that is being treated will determine how the chemotherapy is administered to the patient.

Penile cancer diagnosed at stage 0 may be treated with chemotherapy applied topically.

#4 Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment in which the patient’s own immune system is utilized to combat the disease. In order to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer, substances that are either produced by the body itself or manufactured in a laboratory are used. Treatment options for stage 0 penile cancer include topical biologic therapy with imiquimod and oral chemotherapy.

#5 Radiosensitizers

Radiosensitizers are drugs that can make cancer cells more susceptible to the effects of radiation treatment. When radiation therapy is combined with radiosensitizers, the number of tumor cells that are killed is increased.

#6 Biopsy Of The Sentinel Lymph Followed By Surgery 

A biopsy of the sentinel lymph node was then performed, followed by surgery. The sentinel lymph node is removed during surgery for the purpose of performing a sentinel lymph node biopsy. The primary tumor sends lymphatic drainage to a group of lymph nodes, starting with the sentinel lymph node. The sentinel lymph node is the first lymph node in this group to receive drainage. From the primary tumor, cancer is most likely to spread to this lymph node first because it is the closest. In the area surrounding the tumor, a radioactive substance and/or a blue dye are injected. The substance or dye makes its way to the lymph nodes by traveling through the lymph ducts. The removal begins with the lymph node that was the initial recipient of the substance or dye. Under a microscope, a pathologist examines the tissue in question to search for any signs of cancer. In the event that cancer cells are not discovered, it is possible that additional lymph nodes do not need to be removed. There are situations in which a sentinel lymph node can be discovered in more than one group of lymph nodes. The cancer is removed by the surgeon after the sentinel lymph node biopsy has been completed.

Penile Cancer Prevention

There are substantial differences in the prevalence of penile cancer in different regions of the world, which leads one to believe that a significant proportion of cases can be avoided. Avoiding known risk factors is the most effective way to lower one’s risk of developing penile cancer. However, there are some men who are diagnosed with penile cancer who do not have any known avoidable risk factors; therefore, it is not possible to completely prevent this disease. Here are a few precautionary measures that you can take to prevent penile cancer:

#1 Circumcision

The removal of the foreskin from the penis, also known as circumcision, was once considered a potential method for reducing the risk of penile cancer. Studies showed that men who had their penises circumcised had a significantly lower risk of developing penile cancer compared to men who did not have their penises circumcised. However, the protective effect of circumcision was not observed in some studies after factors such as smegma and phimosis were taken into account. However, there are those who believe that circumcision can protect against penile cancer.

Even for men who have not had the circumcision procedure, the risk of developing penile cancer is quite low. Men who have not undergone the circumcision procedure can reduce their risk of developing penile cancer by maintaining proper genital hygiene.

#2 Genital Hygiene

Proper genital hygiene is likely the single most important factor in preventing penile cancer in men who have not undergone circumcision. Men who have not undergone the circumcision process are required to clean the entire penis and retract the foreskin. It is possible for a doctor to prescribe a cream or ointment that can make it easier to retract the foreskin in cases where the foreskin is constricted and difficult to do so. This condition is known as phimosis. If this doesn’t work, the doctor may perform a procedure known as a dorsal slit, which involves cutting the skin of the foreskin in order to make retraction easier.

#3 Infection Caused By HPV

Because HPV is so widespread, having sexual contact with even a single person can put you at risk of contracting the virus. Because an HPV infection can go unnoticed for a number of years in a man, the absence of visible warts is not a reliable method for determining whether or not someone has the virus. Even if a person does not have warts or any other symptoms, they can still be infected with HPV and pass the virus on to someone else. This is because HPV is a contagious virus.

#4 Tobacco Use

The risk of developing penile cancer is also increased by the use of tobacco products; therefore, abstaining from the use of any form of tobacco may reduce the risk. One of the best ways to lower one’s risk of developing a number of diseases, including penile cancer, is to give up smoking completely or never start doing so in the first place. It’s advised to quit all tobacco-based products altogether.

Penile Cancer Survival Rate

In Western nations, penile cancer is rare in comparison with the rest of the world. According to projections made by the American Cancer Society, there will be 460 deaths and 2210 new cases of penile cancer in the United States in the year 2021. This cancer is extremely dangerous, as evidenced by the high death rate of 21%; in comparison, only 3% of men who have prostate cancer die as a direct result of their disease.

If you want to estimate the approximate publication date of a medical paper based on the survival rates of cancer patients of your age, you can look at the survival rates of nonidentical cancer patients after a certain period of time has passed. They cannot tell you the exact time for which you will survive, but they can estimate how much you can live by using survival rates. Always consider that survival rates are just an estimation and these are usually based on the previous outcomes of large numbers of people who have had particular cancer; however, they are unable to predict what will happen in the case of any specific individual. These statistics may leave you bewildered and with additional inquiries of your own to pursue. Talk to your healthcare provider about how these numbers might affect you.

Wrapping Up

There are a few types of cancer that can affect the penis. Penile cancer is one of them. This type of cancer is most commonly found in men over 50 years old. Penile cancer may start from the cells on the surface of the penis or from inside the penis. If you have penile cancer, you may have trouble urinating and having sex. Treatment for penile cancer varies depending on how far it has spread. Some people may need surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy to treat their penile cancer. In this article, we have comprehensively covered all the information related to penile cancer that you must know. So, if you think that you may have penile cancer then do schedule an appointment with your doctor right away!

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What Is Penile Cancer?

Cancer that begins inside or on the surface of the penis is called penile cancer. It is the most common cancer in men in the United States and the fifth most common cancer worldwide. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 29,140 new cases of penile cancer will be diagnosed in 2019. About half of all penile cancers are prostate cancer that has spread to the penis. The other half are penile cancers that start in other parts of the body like the rectum. Penile cancer is usually diagnosed when it has already metastasized (spread) beyond the site of origin. The erratic growth of cells is the initial step in the development of cancer. Cancer can start in cells in virtually any part of the body, and once it does, it can quickly spread to other areas of the body. 

In Reference To The Penis

The penis is the male genital organ that is visible to the outside world. Additionally, it is a component of the urinary system. It is composed of a wide variety of body tissues, the most notable of which are blood vessels, nerves, smooth muscle, and skin.

The male reproductive system includes the glans, foreskin, shaft, scrotum, and anus. The head of the penis is referred to as the glans, while the main portion of the penis is referred to as the shaft. The glans are protected by a piece of skin that is known as the foreskin, or prepuce, at the time of birth. A procedure known as circumcision is typically used on infant boys in order to remove their foreskin. But this procedure is not necessarily performed everywhere.

There are three chambers contained within the penis, each of which is lined with a network of blood vessels. On either side of the upper portion of the penis are two of these chambers that are shaped like cylindrical tubes and are known as the corpora cavernosa. The third chamber, also known as the corpus spongiosum, is located below these two chambers. This chamber expands to form the glans as it nears its conclusion. The urethra is a long, thin tube that emerges from the bladder and passes through the penis. This tube is surrounded by the corpus spongiosum. Urine and sperm are expelled from the body via the meatus, which is a passageway located in the glans of the penis. Urine and sperm travel through the urethra before exiting the body.

A man’s nerves send a signal to his body to store blood in the vessels found inside the corpora cavernosa so that he can achieve an erection. As the chambers become more full of blood, the spongy tissue expands, and the penis becomes more rigid and grows longer. During the process of ejaculation, the fluid known as semen travels through the urethra, which contains sperm cells and fluids, and then exits the body through the meatus. As soon as ejaculation is complete, blood begins to flow back into the body, and the penis regains its suppleness.

What Type Of Cancer Is Penile Cancer?

It is the most common type of cancer in men, accounting for about 5% of all cancers in men. Penile cancer generally occurs in men over the age of 50, but it can also occur in younger men. The most common form of penile cancer is called Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC).

Penile Cancer Symptoms/Signs

Penile cancer is deadly cancer. Symptoms of penile cancer may include: a lump or sore on the penis; a change in the shape, size, or color of the penis; pain when urinating; difficulty getting an erection; and loss of sexual function. The presence of the following signs and symptoms does not necessarily indicate that a man has penile cancer. In point of fact, a significant number are far more likely to be brought on by other conditions. However, if you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible so that the underlying cause can be identified and treated, if necessary. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the sooner treatment can begin, and the greater the likelihood that the treatment will be successful. Penile cancer is treated with surgery and/or radiation therapy. Let’s look into the signs and symptoms in detail:

Skin Changes

Most of the time, a change in the skin of the penis is the first indication that a person has penile cancer. This is most likely to be found on the glans (tip) of the penis or on the foreskin (in men who have not undergone circumcision), but it can also be found on the shaft. These changes might include the following:

  • A region of the skin that is becoming more robust
  • Changes in the color of the skin
  • Lumps at several places
  • A sore or ulcer that has the potential to bleed.
  • A rash that is reddish and velvety under the foreskin.
  • Crusted bumps of a small size
  • Growths that are flat and a bluish-brown color
  • Under the foreskin bleeding or discharge (fluid) that smells bad.

Penile cancer can sometimes manifest as sores or lumps, which may or may not be painful. Even if it is not painful, you should make an appointment with a medical professional if you discover any kind of new growth or other abnormality on your penis. Any change that does not improve within approximately four weeks, or that gets worse, should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

Swelling

An additional possible sign of penile cancer is swelling at the end of the penis, particularly when the foreskin is constricted. This symptom is more common in men. There is a possibility that the foreskin will be more difficult to retract.

Subcutaneous Bumps In The Region Of The Groyne Area

If cancer originates in the penis, it almost always spreads to the lymph nodes in the groin first before reaching other parts of the body. This has the potential to swell those lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are collections of cells that are part of the immune system. In their normal state, they are about the size of beans and can hardly be felt at all. If the lymph nodes are swollen, they may have the consistency of smooth lumps underneath the skin.

However, it is not always the case that cancer has spread to the lymph nodes if they become swollen. In response to an infection, lymph node enlargement is the most common symptom. Even if cancer hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes in the area, the skin that covers and surrounds penile cancer can frequently become infected, which can lead to swelling in the lymph nodes of that area.

How Do I Know If I Have Penile Cancer?

If you have unexplained pain or bleeding in your penis, or if the lump changes in size, shape, or color, see a doctor. Penile cancer is a potentially fatal disease that can affect men of all ages. Most cases are diagnosed when cancer has already spread beyond the area where it was first found. You can avoid penile cancer in its early stages if you diagnose and treat it on time. So, the first step here is to start noticing the symptoms. If you find any relatable symptoms it may not be necessarily related to penile cancer but you may find out any other small or big disease. Once you contact your doctor, they will make you perform relevant tests based on your symptoms. And if any cancer is diagnosed then you will undergo relevant treatments. And if cancer is not diagnosed in your body then you can feel relaxed and ask your doctor what are those symptoms related to.

Penile Cancer Age

The patient’s age is another factor that raises their chances of developing penis cancer. The likelihood of developing penile cancer is proportional to one’s age. This condition almost never strikes men and anyone younger than 40 years old. Penile cancer is diagnosed in approximately four out of every five men who are over the age of 55. In the United States, the typical age of a man at the time of his diagnosis is around 68 years old. However, because the disease can be difficult to detect early, many men who develop penile cancer don’t know until it is too late. If caught early, almost all penile cancers can be successfully treated with surgery or radiation therapy.

Penile Cancer Causes

Risk factors vary depending on the type of cancer being treated. Changes can be made to certain cancer risk factors, such as quitting smoking or limiting sun exposure. Others, such as a person’s age or the history of their family, simply cannot be changed. However, at the same time having one or even a number of risk factors does not guarantee that a person will develop the disease. On the other hand, there are some men who are diagnosed with penile cancer despite having no identifiable risk factors. Here are some risk factors that, when present in a man’s life, increase the likelihood that he will develop penile cancer:

Infection With The Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

The human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, is a cluster of more than 150 viruses that are related to one another. They are referred to as papillomaviruses because some of them are responsible for the development of growths known as papillomas (more commonly called warts). Warts can be caused by a wide variety of HPV strains and can appear in a variety of locations on the body. Condyloma Acuminata is a type of wart that is raised and bumpy. They are caused by certain types of HPV that can infect the genital organs and the anal area (or just condylomas).

Several other types of HPV have been associated with particular cancers. One potential contributor to the development of penile cancer is an infection with certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). In point of fact, HPV is identified in approximately half of all cases of penile cancer.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) can be transmitted from one individual to another through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected area of the body. The human papillomavirus (HPV) can be passed on through sexual contact in any of its three forms (vaginal, anal, and oral), but sex is not required for the infection to be passed on. All that is required is direct skin-to-skin contact with an HPV-infected area of the body in order to contract the virus. It is also possible for an infection caused by HPV to spread from one area of the body to another. For instance, an infection might begin in the genital region first and then move to the anus.

Infection with HPV is quite common. In the majority of men, the infection is eliminated naturally by the body. However, for some people, the infection does not clear up and instead develops into a chronic condition. Chronic infection, in particular with certain types of HPV, has been linked to an increased risk of developing several cancers, including penile cancer. It’s possible that men who don’t get circumcised have a higher risk of getting infected with HPV.

Not Getting Circumcised 

The foreskin is cut off completely (or in part) during the process of circumcision. This operation is performed on infants the vast majority of the time, but it can also be done at a later age. Men who were circumcised as children may have a significantly lower risk of developing penile cancer compared to men who were not circumcised when they were younger. In point of fact, there are those in the medical community who believe that cancer can be avoided by having a baby circumcised. When performed on an adult, circumcision does not have the same protective effect as when performed on a child.

It is not entirely clear why men who have been circumcised have a lower risk, but it may be related to other risk factors that are already well known. For instance, men who have had their foreskins circumcised are unable to develop a condition known as phimosis, and they do not build up the substance known as smegma. Penile cancer is more likely to occur in men who have the conditions of smegma or phimosis. It is more likely that one of these conditions will occur first in a man if he does not undergo circumcision until a later age.

When assessing the pros and cons of circumcision, medical professionals take into account the fact that penile cancer is extremely rare in the United States, even in the population of men who have not undergone the procedure. Despite the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that the health benefits of circumcision in newborn males outweigh the risks, it has also stated that these benefits are not sufficient to recommend that circumcision be performed on all newborns as a matter of course. In the end, decisions regarding circumcision are extremely personal and frequently depend more on social and religious factors than on evidence from medical studies.

Phimosis And Smegma

Penile cancer is more likely to occur in men who have not undergone circumcision and who also have certain conditions.

Phimosis

When a man is not circumcised, the foreskin can sometimes become taut and difficult to retract. This is more common in uncircumcised men. This condition is referred to as phimosis. Phimosis is associated with an increased risk of developing penile cancer in men. It is not entirely clear why this is happening, but it could have something to do with the accumulation of smegma or with the inflammation that results from phimosis.

Smegma

It’s possible for secretions to accumulate even beneath a foreskin that’s still intact. If the area under the foreskin is not cleaned properly, the secretions that collect there can accumulate to the point where they become a vicious and sometimes unpleasant substance known as smegma. Smegma is more prevalent in men who have phimosis, but anyone who has a foreskin runs the risk of developing the condition if the foreskin isn’t retracted frequently enough to clean the head of the penis.

In the past, there was apprehension among some professionals that smegma might be contaminated with carcinogenic compounds. The majority of knowledgeable individuals in this field currently agree that smegma is not likely to be the root cause of penile cancer. However, this can lead to irritation and inflammation of the penis, which can increase the likelihood of developing cancer. It may also make it more difficult to detect cancers in their earliest stages.

Consuming Or Using Tobacco Products In Any Form

Penile cancer is more likely to occur in men who smoke cigarettes or use any other kind of tobacco product. Those who use tobacco and already have an HPV infection have an even greater risk. Using tobacco puts your body in contact with a large number of chemicals that can cause cancer. Either the noxious substances are inhaled into the lungs, from which they are absorbed into the blood, or the tissues of the mouth are used as a conduit for their absorption into the blood. They can cause cancer in many different parts of the body because they can spread through the bloodstream to all parts of the body. The researchers think that these substances cause damage to genes that are found in the cells of the penis, which can lead to penile cancer.

Psoriasis Treatment With Ultraviolet Light

Psoriasis, a form of skin disease that primarily affects men, can be treated with a combination of a class of drugs called psoralens and then an ultraviolet A (UVA) light source. This treatment is known as PUVA therapy. It has been discovered that there is an increased risk of penile cancer in men who have undergone this treatment. Men who are being treated with PUVA now have to keep their genital areas covered while they are receiving treatment in order to help reduce the risk of this happening.

Age

The likelihood of developing penile cancer is proportional to one’s age. In the United States, the typical age of a man at the time of his diagnosis is around 68 years old. Penile cancer is diagnosed in approximately four out of every five men who are over the age of 55.

AIDS

Penile cancer is more likely to develop in men living with AIDS. It appears that this increased risk is connected to the patient’s weakened immune system, which is a direct result of the disease. However, it is also possible that it is connected to additional risk factors that men who are infected with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) are more likely to have. For instance, men who are infected with HIV have an increased risk of smoking and contracting HPV.

Types Of Penile Cancer

There are several types of penile cancer which include the following:

#1 Squamous Cell Or Epidermoid Carcinoma

Epidermoid carcinoma, also known as squamous cell carcinoma, accounts for 95% of penile cancer cases. This indicates that, when viewed through a microscope, the cells have the same appearance as the tissues that comprise skin. Any part of the penis is a potential starting point for squamous cell carcinoma. However, it can sometimes develop underneath the foreskin as well. In most cases, epidermoid carcinoma can be cured if it is detected at a relatively early stage.

#2 Basal Cell Carcinoma

It is possible for basal cells to develop into cancerous cells. These are the round cells that can be found in the layer of skin known as the lower epidermis. They are found directly beneath the squamous cells. Basal cell carcinoma is a type of non-melanoma skin cancer. The percentage of penile cancers caused by basal cell carcinoma is less than 2%.

#3 Melanoma

Melanocytes are dispersed throughout the epidermis’ most superficial layer, which is the basal layer. Melanin, the pigment that determines a person’s skin tone, is produced by these cells. Melanoma starts in melanocytes. This particular form of skin cancer is the most dangerous one. The surface of the penis can occasionally become infected with this form of cancer. Get more information about melanoma.

#4 Sarcoma

Sarcomas account for approximately 1% of all penile cancers. Sarcomas are cancerous growths that originate in the connective and supporting tissues of the body, such as blood vessels, muscle, and fat. Get more information about sarcoma.

How Penile Cancer Is Diagnosed?

A biopsy is typically performed in order to diagnose penile cancer. The procedure involves removing a small sample of tissue from the penis and examining it under a microscope. The cells will be considered “staged” if they have the appearance of cancer cells. The TNM staging system is the method that is utilized the majority of the time. The letter T denotes the primary (primary) tumor (how far it has grown within the penis or nearby organs). N indicates that cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the area (bean-sized groups of immune system cells). The term M which is “metastasis” refers to the spread of cancer to other organs.

A “grade” is also assigned to each of the cells. This provides an indication of how abnormal the cells appear to be. The grade is typically expressed as a number, ranging from 1 to 4. When the number is higher, the cells appear to have more abnormalities. Cancers of a higher grade have a greater propensity to grow and spread more rapidly than cancers of a lower grade.

Imaging Tests

Additional tests will be performed on you if your doctor suspects that cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the area. The stage and grade of cancer can be determined with the help of a lymph node biopsy. Image-gathering procedures, also known as imaging tests, can produce pictures of the inside of your body by using x-rays, magnetic fields, or sound waves. Imaging tests (such as a CT scan or MRI) will be carried out in the event that it is suspected that cancer has spread to other areas of the body. In the event that tests reveal cancer, prompt treatment, and consistent monitoring are going to be of the utmost significance. If the doctor has reason to believe that cancer has spread to other parts of the body, then one or more of these tests may be performed in order to assist in determining the stage of cancer.

Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan)

A computed tomography (CT) scan creates in-depth images of your body by cutting it into sections and using x-rays. It is possible to determine the size of the tumor and whether or not cancer has spread to other lymph nodes or other areas of the body using this method.

During a CT-guided needle biopsy, CT scans are utilized to direct a biopsy needle into an enlarged lymph node or another area that has the potential to be affected by cancer. In order to accomplish this, you will remain seated on the CT table while the attending physician inserts a biopsy needle through your skin and into the mass. Repeated CT scans are performed until the needle is completely inserted into the mass. After that, a biopsy sample is extracted and sent off to be examined more closely by a microscope.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRIs, much like CT scans, are capable of producing detailed images of the body’s soft tissues. However, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans do not use x-rays but rather a radio waves and powerful magnets.

When taking MRI pictures, it is helpful to have the penis in an upright position. To achieve the desired result of an erection, the physician may inject the penis with a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin.

Ultrasound

The images of internal organs or masses that are produced by ultrasound are created by using sound waves. Discovering the extent to which cancer has spread into the penis can be an extremely helpful piece of information. It is also useful for locating lymph nodes in the groin that have become enlarged.

This examination will not cause you any discomfort, and you will not be exposed to any radiation. The majority of ultrasound exams begin by applying gel to the patient’s skin in order to lubricate it. The transducer is then moved over the skin of the penis by a technician.

X-ray Of The Chest

In order to determine whether or not cancer has spread to the lungs, an x-ray may be performed.

Is Penile Biopsy Painful?

A penile biopsy is a diagnostic procedure that involves taking a sample of the penis for examination. Although it may not seem like it, a penile biopsy can be quite painful. The area being biopsied is numbed with a local anesthetic before the sample is taken. Occasionally, patients experience mild pain after the procedure. If pain remains severe or continues for more than a few days, it should be reported to the doctor.

Penile Cancer Treatment

Patients who have been diagnosed with penile cancer have access to a variety of treatment options. Some treatments are considered the gold standard (the treatment that is most commonly used), while others are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. A clinical trial of treatment is a type of research study that is conducted to assist in the improvement of existing treatments or to obtain information on new treatments for patients who have cancer. If clinical tests demonstrate that a new treatment is superior to the treatment that is currently being used, then the new treatment might replace the treatment that is currently being used. 

Here are the different types of treatment that are used to cure penile cancer:

#1 A medication

Here is a list of common drugs that are used for the treatment of penile cancer:

  • Cisplatin 
  • Ifosfamide (Ifex)
  • Paclitaxel 
  • Fluorouracil (5-FU)

Some of the less commonly used drugs include:

  • Bleomycin (Blenoxane)
  • Docetaxel (Taxotere)
  • Gemcitabine (Gemzar)
  • Methotrexate (multiple brand names)
  • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)

Most of these mediations require a proper prescription from the doctor and they have to be consumed under their guidance only. It’s possible that you can only get them through participation in a clinical trial. Having a conversation with your physician is the most effective way to obtain information about the medications that have been prescribed for you, including the potential for adverse effects or interactions with other medications. Chemotherapy can cause a variety of bad side effects, the severity of which depends on the patient as well as the dosage administered. These side effects may include fatigue, an increased risk of infection,  hair loss, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. After treatment has been completed, patients usually don’t experience these adverse effects. On the other hand, some adverse effects may be long-lasting or manifest themselves at a later time; we refer to these as late effects. For example, the use of chemotherapy has been linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease as well as other cancers, which are referred to as secondary cancers.

#2 Surgery

At any stage of the disease, penile cancer is almost always treated through surgical excision. One of the following surgical procedures could be used by a physician to remove cancer:

  1. Mohs Surgery

Mohs microsurgery is a technique in which layers of the tumor are removed from the patient’s skin one at a time. During the surgical procedure, the margins of the tumor as well as each layer of the tumor that is removed are examined under a microscope for any signs of cancer cells. The layers keep getting peeled away until there are no more cancer cells to be found. As little healthy tissue as possible is removed during this procedure, which is typically performed to remove cancer that has spread to the skin. This type of surgery is also known as Mohs surgery.

This surgical process involves a number of stages and is used to remove a visible lesion from the skin. To begin, a very thin layer of cancerous tissue is excised from the body. After that, a second, much thinner layer of tissue is excised and examined for the presence of cancer cells under a microscope. One layer at a time, additional layers are removed until a microscopic examination of the tissue reveals that there is no trace of cancer remaining. When performing this kind of operation, the surgeon will attempt to remove as little normal tissue as possible.

  1.  Lasers

The term “laser surgery” refers to a type of surgical procedure that makes use of a laser beam, which is a narrow beam of intense light, as a “knife” to make cuts in tissue that are free of blood loss or to remove a surface lesion such as a tumor.

  1. Cryotherapy 

Cryotherapy is a type of treatment that involves the use of an instrument to cause abnormal tissue to freeze and then be removed. Cryosurgery is another name for this form of medical treatment.

  1. Circumcision

In circumcision, the foreskin of the penis is surgically removed, either in part or in its entirety.

  1. A Penectomy

A penectomy or penis amputation refers to a surgical procedure in which some or all parts of the penis are removed. Partial penectomy is performed when only a portion of the patient’s penis is removed. A total penectomy is one in which the entire penis is removed surgically. During surgery, the lymph nodes that are located in the groin might be removed.

Some patients may undergo additional treatment following surgery, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, in order to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. This is done after the surgeon has removed all visible cancer at the time of the procedure. Adjuvant therapy is a type of treatment that is administered after primary surgical treatment in order to reduce the likelihood that cancer will return.

#3 Radiation And/Or Chemotherapy

Radiation therapy is a treatment for cancer that involves subjecting cancer cells to high-energy x-rays or other forms of radiation in order to kill them or prevent them from growing. Radiation therapy can be broken down into two categories:

The radiation for external radiation therapy comes from a machine that is placed outside of the patient’s body and directed toward the area of the body where the cancer is located.

In internal radiation therapy, a radioactive substance is encased in a needle, seed, wire, or catheter and delivered directly into or in close proximity to the area where the cancer is located.

The type and stage of the cancer being treated will determine the specifics of how the radiation therapy will be administered. Radiation therapy, both external and internal, is utilized in the treatment of penile cancer.

Chemotherapy is a treatment for cancer that involves the use of drugs in order to stop the growth of cancer cells. This can be accomplished in one of two ways: either by killing the cells or by preventing them from dividing. The chemotherapy drugs are absorbed into the bloodstream when the treatment is either taken orally or injected into a vein or muscle. This allows the drugs to reach cancer cells located anywhere in the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is applied to a patient’s skin directly (a process known as “topical chemotherapy”), or when it is injected into the cerebrospinal fluid, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs primarily affect cancer cells in those specific locations (regional chemotherapy). The type and stage of cancer that is being treated will determine how the chemotherapy is administered to the patient.

Penile cancer diagnosed at stage 0 may be treated with chemotherapy applied topically.

#4 Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment in which the patient’s own immune system is utilized to combat the disease. In order to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer, substances that are either produced by the body itself or manufactured in a laboratory are used. Treatment options for stage 0 penile cancer include topical biologic therapy with imiquimod and oral chemotherapy.

#5 Radiosensitizers

Radiosensitizers are drugs that can make cancer cells more susceptible to the effects of radiation treatment. When radiation therapy is combined with radiosensitizers, the number of tumor cells that are killed is increased.

#6 Biopsy Of The Sentinel Lymph Followed By Surgery 

A biopsy of the sentinel lymph node was then performed, followed by surgery. The sentinel lymph node is removed during surgery for the purpose of performing a sentinel lymph node biopsy. The primary tumor sends lymphatic drainage to a group of lymph nodes, starting with the sentinel lymph node. The sentinel lymph node is the first lymph node in this group to receive drainage. From the primary tumor, cancer is most likely to spread to this lymph node first because it is the closest. In the area surrounding the tumor, a radioactive substance and/or a blue dye are injected. The substance or dye makes its way to the lymph nodes by traveling through the lymph ducts. The removal begins with the lymph node that was the initial recipient of the substance or dye. Under a microscope, a pathologist examines the tissue in question to search for any signs of cancer. In the event that cancer cells are not discovered, it is possible that additional lymph nodes do not need to be removed. There are situations in which a sentinel lymph node can be discovered in more than one group of lymph nodes. The cancer is removed by the surgeon after the sentinel lymph node biopsy has been completed.

Penile Cancer Prevention

There are substantial differences in the prevalence of penile cancer in different regions of the world, which leads one to believe that a significant proportion of cases can be avoided. Avoiding known risk factors is the most effective way to lower one’s risk of developing penile cancer. However, there are some men who are diagnosed with penile cancer who do not have any known avoidable risk factors; therefore, it is not possible to completely prevent this disease. Here are a few precautionary measures that you can take to prevent penile cancer:

#1 Circumcision

The removal of the foreskin from the penis, also known as circumcision, was once considered a potential method for reducing the risk of penile cancer. Studies showed that men who had their penises circumcised had a significantly lower risk of developing penile cancer compared to men who did not have their penises circumcised. However, the protective effect of circumcision was not observed in some studies after factors such as smegma and phimosis were taken into account. However, there are those who believe that circumcision can protect against penile cancer.

Even for men who have not had the circumcision procedure, the risk of developing penile cancer is quite low. Men who have not undergone the circumcision procedure can reduce their risk of developing penile cancer by maintaining proper genital hygiene.

#2 Genital Hygiene

Proper genital hygiene is likely the single most important factor in preventing penile cancer in men who have not undergone circumcision. Men who have not undergone the circumcision process are required to clean the entire penis and retract the foreskin. It is possible for a doctor to prescribe a cream or ointment that can make it easier to retract the foreskin in cases where the foreskin is constricted and difficult to do so. This condition is known as phimosis. If this doesn’t work, the doctor may perform a procedure known as a dorsal slit, which involves cutting the skin of the foreskin in order to make retraction easier.

#3 Infection Caused By HPV

Because HPV is so widespread, having sexual contact with even a single person can put you at risk of contracting the virus. Because an HPV infection can go unnoticed for a number of years in a man, the absence of visible warts is not a reliable method for determining whether or not someone has the virus. Even if a person does not have warts or any other symptoms, they can still be infected with HPV and pass the virus on to someone else. This is because HPV is a contagious virus.

#4 Tobacco Use

The risk of developing penile cancer is also increased by the use of tobacco products; therefore, abstaining from the use of any form of tobacco may reduce the risk. One of the best ways to lower one’s risk of developing a number of diseases, including penile cancer, is to give up smoking completely or never start doing so in the first place. It’s advised to quit all tobacco-based products altogether.

Penile Cancer Survival Rate

In Western nations, penile cancer is rare in comparison with the rest of the world. According to projections made by the American Cancer Society, there will be 460 deaths and 2210 new cases of penile cancer in the United States in the year 2021. This cancer is extremely dangerous, as evidenced by the high death rate of 21%; in comparison, only 3% of men who have prostate cancer die as a direct result of their disease.

If you want to estimate the approximate publication date of a medical paper based on the survival rates of cancer patients of your age, you can look at the survival rates of nonidentical cancer patients after a certain period of time has passed. They cannot tell you the exact time for which you will survive, but they can estimate how much you can live by using survival rates. Always consider that survival rates are just an estimation and these are usually based on the previous outcomes of large numbers of people who have had particular cancer; however, they are unable to predict what will happen in the case of any specific individual. These statistics may leave you bewildered and with additional inquiries of your own to pursue. Talk to your healthcare provider about how these numbers might affect you.

Wrapping Up

There are a few types of cancer that can affect the penis. Penile cancer is one of them. This type of cancer is most commonly found in men over 50 years old. Penile cancer may start from the cells on the surface of the penis or from inside the penis. If you have penile cancer, you may have trouble urinating and having sex. Treatment for penile cancer varies depending on how far it has spread. Some people may need surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy to treat their penile cancer. In this article, we have comprehensively covered all the information related to penile cancer that you must know. So, if you think that you may have penile cancer then do schedule an appointment with your doctor right away!

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