Penile cancer is a rare tumor, with a higher incidence in individuals over 50 years of age, although malignant tumors of the penis can be found in young individuals. Although little publicized, penile cancer is a concern in Brazil.
Data from the Ministry of Health indicate that, in the last four years, the country recorded more than eight thousand cases of this type of tumor. The disease meant that, in the last 14 years, more than 7,000 men had to amputate their sexual organ to treat cancer – an average of 515 procedures per year.
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According to the Fundação Centro de Controle de Oncologia do Estado do Amazonas, men who have not been operated on for phimosis are more likely to develop this type of cancer. Phimosis occurs when the foreskin skin is too narrow or not very elastic, which prevents the glans (“head” of the penis) from being exposed, thus making it difficult to clean properly.
Another risk factor is having sex with different partners without using a condom. The use of condoms is essential in any sexual relationship, as it reduces the chance of contagion of sexually transmitted diseases, such as the HPV virus (human papillomavirus), for example. Some scientific studies suggest the association between HPV infection and penile cancer.
Most tumors that affect the male sex organ are painless, but you should be on the lookout for any of the following signs:
Difficulty lowering the foreskin (phimosis)
Spot or sore on the penis that does not heal after four weeks
Bleeding from the penis or under the foreskin
Foul odor under the foreskin
Change in the skin color of the penis or foreskin
Rash on the penis that persists despite treatment
“Sometimes early cancers appear as bluish brown spots, or as a red rash or small, crusty bumps. Often, tumors are only visible when the foreskin is pulled back.
These symptoms are also associated with conditions other than cancer. Like most tumors, penile cancer is easier to treat if caught early.
That’s why you need to consult a urologist periodically.
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