Penile cancer, or the cancer of the penis, is a condition in which the normal cells of the penis start to grow uncontrollably. It may occur in both the skin and the tissues of the penis. It is among the most common genitourinary cancers encountered in developing countries like India and other Asian countries.
Types of Penile Cancer
- Squamous cell carcinoma: It is a common type of penile cancer and accounts for about 95% of the cases. It occurs under the foreskin of the glans penis.
- Sarcoma: Sarcoma is cancer formed in tissues that support and connect blood vessels, fat, and muscles of the penis.
- Melanoma: Melanocytes are the cells that give color to the penile skin. If cancer develops in these cells of cancer, then it is known as penile melanoma.
- Basal cell carcinoma: This cancer occurs in the basal cell of the skin of the penis. These cells are present in the deepest layer of the skin. It is less likely to spread to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of Penile Cancer
Some of the symptoms of penile cancer are:-
- Penile rashes
- Smelly discharge
- Change in color of the skin or foreskin of the penis
- Formation of a growth or a sore on the penis that does not heals within four weeks
- Feeling tired
- Itching sensation on the penis
- Burning and redness
- Bleeding from penis
- The lymph nodes of the groin region may appear to swell
- Thickening of penile skin that makes it difficult to pull it back
Causes of Penile Cancer
The exact causes of penile cancer are not known, but some factors increase the chances of developing penile cancer, such as:
- HPV (human papillomavirus)
- Suffering from phimosis
- Having a weak immune system
- Lichen sclerosus
- Smoking tobacco
- Poor hygiene
- Penile trauma
- Not having circumcision
- Multiple sexual partners
- Ultraviolet A photochemotherapy
If the patients experience one or more of the above symptoms, they should consult a physician. HCG Manavata Cancer Center has some of the best doctors for penile cancer in Nashik; they are trained to deliver the best care for penile cancer patients.
Diagnosis of Penile Cancer
The doctor diagnoses penile cancer through the following techniques:
- Physical examination: During a physical evaluation, the doctor will evaluate the overall health, tissue characteristic of the penis, and symptoms experienced. They will examine the penis for any kind of lumps or sores or any change in the color of the penile skin.
- Cystoscopy: During this procedure, a probe having a camera at its tip is inserted into the penile opening. The probe is guided to the bladder through the urethra to evaluate the spread of cancer to nearby organs.
- MRI scan: An MRI scan of the penis is done to determine the presence of the tumor or abnormal cellular growth in the deeper tissues of the penis.
- Biopsy: It involves removing a small part of the skin or tissues from the penis. These tissue samples are examined under the microscope for the presence of cancer cells.
Treatment for Penile Cancer
HCG Manavata Cancer Center uses advanced technologies and innovative treatment approaches and strives to be the best hospital for penile cancer treatment in Nashik. Various treatment options available for penile cancer are:
Cryotherapy: In this procedure, the surgeon uses an extremely cold liquid or a device to freeze the cancerous tumor in the penis. The blister will form, and then the skin will get peeled off. It destroys the cancerous cells in the penis.
Mohs surgery: The doctor, one by one, removes the layer of the penis. The layer is removed until the doctor reaches the healthy tissues. It is the method to remove cancer that does not develop in the deeper skin tissues. After the removal of every layer, the removed cells are analyzed under the microscope. This surgery results in less damage to healthy tissues.
Circumcision: Circumcision is the technique in which the foreskin of the penis is surgically removed. This procedure is done if the patient has a foreskin tumor.
Penectomy: Penectomy is the procedure for surgical removal of the penis. It is used to treat penile cancer that has reached deep into the tissues of the penis. The penectomy can be either partial or complete. Penectomy is done when the other approaches have failed to treat penile cancer.
Chemotherapy: The doctor may also prescribe medications that kill or prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Chemotherapy may be used prior to surgery to shrink the tumor, which helps in easy removal.
Radiation therapy: The therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill penile cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be used with chemotherapy when the penile cancer is not completely removed through surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the prognosis of penile cancer?
Patients with stage II or stage III penile cancer that has not spread to distant organs have a survival rate of around 85%. Stage III and stage IV patients have a survival rate of around 59%. However, if cancer has been spread to other body parts, the survival rate is around 11%.
What are the complications of penile cancer treatment?
- Excision of the primary tumor: The most common complications after the excision of the primary tumor are infection, bleeding, and other risks associated with general anesthesia. Meatal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the urethral opening. It occurs commonly after penectomy.
- Lymph node dissection: The most common complications that can occur after the dissection of the lymph nodes are infection in the wound, flap necrosis, pulmonary embolism, and edema of the scrotum.
How to cope with penile cancer?
It is very important to have very good support that can help you overcome the anxiety and the stress caused by the treatments of penile cancer. You can also join the cancer support group to discuss your concern with the other patients that already have undergone or are undergoing treatment for penile cancer.
Is penile cancer a contagious disease?
Penile cancer is not a transmissible disease. However, you should use condoms during intercourse to prevent HIV, as it is a risk factor for penile cancer. It may be possible that the cancer patient may suffer from HIV.