Penile cancer or penile cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer that affects the skin and tissues of the penis. This occurs when normal healthy cells in the penis become malignant and begin to get out of control, forming a tumor. Ultimately, cancer can spread to other areas of the body, including the glands, other organs, and lymph nodes. Each year, approximately 1,300 cases of penile cancer are diagnosed in the United States.
What are the symptoms of penile cancer?
The first noticeable symptom of penile cancer is usually a lump, plaque, or ulcer on the penis. It may look like a small, minor bump or a large infected ulcer. In most cases, the tumor is located on the head or foreskin, and not on the trunk of the penis.
Other symptoms of penile cancer include:
- burning sensation
- penis color change
- penis thickening
- swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin
Call your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to increasing the chances of a positive outcome.
What are the risk factors for developing penile cancer?
Men living in Asia, Africa, and South America are at higher risk for developing penile cancer. Annually in these regions, this disease is diagnosed in approximately 10-20 people per 100,000 men.
Uncircumcised men are also more at risk for developing penile cancer. This may be due to the fact that uncircumcised men are at risk for other diseases affecting the penis, such as phimosis and smegma. Phimosis is a disease in which the foreskin becomes dense and is difficult to stretch. Men with phimosis have a high risk of smegma. Smegma is a substance that forms when dead skin cells, moisture and fat gather under the foreskin. It can also form when uncircumcised men do not properly wash the area under the foreskin.
Men are also at increased risk of developing penile cancer if:
- they are over 60 years old
- They are smoking
- do not monitor personal hygiene
- live in a region with poor hygiene
- have several sexual partners
- have a sexually transmitted infection such as human papillomavirus (HPV)
How is penile cancer diagnosed?
Your doctor can diagnose penile cancer by performing a physical examination and referring you for specific diagnostic tests.
During a physical examination, your doctor will examine your penis and check for any lumps, plaques, or ulcers. If cancer is suspected, your doctor will likely want to have a biopsy. A biopsy consists of taking a small sample of skin or tissue from the penis. The sample is then examined to determine if cancer cells are present.
If the biopsy results show signs of cancer, your doctor may want to do a cystoscopy to see if the cancer has spread. Cystoscopy is a procedure that is performed using an instrument called a cystoscope. The cystoscope is a thin tube with a small camera and light at the end. During cystoscopy, your doctor carefully inserts a cystoscope into the opening of the penis and passes it through the bladder. This allows your doctor to look at various areas of the penis and its surrounding structures, allowing you to determine if the cancer has spread.
In some cases, an MRI of the penis is sometimes performed to ensure that the cancer has not spread to the deeper tissues of the penis.
Reasons for development
Despite years of cancer research, the exact reasons why penile cancer can occur have not yet been identified.
But nevertheless, the opinions of scientists agree that the factors contributing to the development of oncology of the penis are the presence of bad habits in a person and non-observance of personal hygiene.
The pathogenic causes of the appearance of neoplasms on the genitals in men are also distinguished:
- inflammation of the foreskin or glans,
- the presence of phimosis,
- Bowen's disease
- skin horn
- HIV infection
- the formation of genital infections,
- a chaotic way of having sex or its absence,
- human papillomavirus (HPV),
- mechanical damage to the penis, for example, in the case of an unsuccessful operation, pinching with the fly, etc.
Statistical studies prove that the development of cancer cells is more often diagnosed in people living in adverse environmental conditions, since exposure to radiation in the air contributes to the development of malignant cancer cells. It is worth noting that the well-known tradition of circumcision can reduce the likelihood of developing cancer of the penis by seventy percent.
What does penile cancer look like?
Initially, penile cancer is characterized by the formation of a malignant tumor on the skin of the penis in the form of a small speck of pink or red. On the penis, the neoplasm is often localized directly on the head tissue, but in some cases it can also be located on other parts of the organ.
The resulting tumors are small and do not cause any discomfort in patients, since they do not hurt and do not bleed. As the disease develops, the size of the neoplasm becomes larger, it becomes denser and takes on the appearance of a tubercle. With damage to the lymphatic system, an increase in inguinal lymph nodes is observed.
Over time, when the cancer reaches a developed stage, the patient begins to feel pain, itching and bleeding may occur.
With lesions of the foreskin, purulent discharge with a pungent odor is observed, as well as an increase in lymph nodes.
The outcome of the disease, first of all, depends on timely diagnosis and adequate treatment, therefore, if such neoplasms occur, a medical examination should be mandatory.
The causes and symptoms of cancer of the reproductive male organ largely depend on the form of the disease. In medicine, penile tumors are classified in the following forms:
- nodular - under the skin of the penis appears a round neoplasm with a smooth surface that does not cause pain,
- ulcerative - small ulcers appear on the head of the penis or foreskin, palpating which causes pain, and in case of injury, they can bleed,
- papillary - looks like a branch of cauliflower,
- edematous - a small knot is formed on the penis, accompanied by swelling of the genital organ and phimosis of the foreskin.
When cancer of the glans penis or its other parts occurs, therapy depends on the form of the disease. The most common is RCC carcinoma, therefore, during diagnosis, the symptoms with a suspicion of this disease are first studied.
Definition of the disease. Causes of the disease
Penile Cancer (Penis Cancer) - This is a rare form of a tumor that forms in the tissues of the penis. This disease accounts for 1-2% of all neoplasms of the genitourinary system.
Much more often, cancer of the penis occurs in men living in countries with a hot climate: South America, Asia and Africa. In Russia in 2017, 667 cases of this disease were registered, in the USA in 2018 - 2080 cases, and 410 people died of this form of cancer. In the UK, up to 600 new cases of penile cancer are reported annually.
One of the highest incidence rates in the world is observed in Brazil. There, penile cancer accounts for 2.1% of all male neoplasms in the country, reaching 5.7% in the northeast.
The lowest incidence rate is in Israel. This is due to the high frequency of circumcision in the newborn and a well-developed healthcare system.
The peak incidence of penile cancer is in men 60-64 years old.
Unfortunately, the exact reason for the development of this type of cancer has not been established, but several risk factors are known:
- elderly age,
- poor penile hygiene
- smoking tobacco (cigarettes),
- human papillomavirus type 16 and 18,
- uncircumcised foreskin - increases the risk of developing the disease by 3.2 times,
- chronic inflammation
- thromboangiitis obliterans - inflammation and the formation of blood clots in the arteries,
- Bowen's disease and Keyr erythroplasia are associated with a high risk of developing invasive penile cancer.
Precancerous diseases include:
- skin horn
- Bowen-like papulosis,
- obliterating xerotic balanitis (sclerotic lichen) - chronic inflammation of the skin of the genital organs,
- leukoplakia - damage to the mucous membrane with its subsequent keratinization.
Bowen-like papulosis is mainly found on the trunk of the penis in young circumcised men. It looks like multiple small red-violet papules, slightly raised, scaly or warty papules. Sometimes they merge into large plaques.
One of the significant risk factors is previous phimosis or narrowing of the foreskin of varying degrees with chronic inflammation. In addition, phototherapy, which is widely used in the treatment of psoriasis, affects the development of penile cancer.
Stages of penile cancer
There are six stages of a malignant tumor of the penis. The cancer stage describes how far the cancer has spread. Based on the results of the diagnostic tests, your doctor will determine what stage you are currently at. This will help them determine the best course of treatment for you and give them the opportunity to assess your prospects. The table below shows the criteria for determining the stages of penile cancer:
How is penile cancer treated?
There are two main types of malignant tumors of the penis: invasive and non-invasive. Non-invasive penile cancer is a disease in which the cancer does not spread to deeper tissues, lymph nodes and glands. Penile invasive cancer is a disease in which a tumor spreads deep into the tissue of the penis and the surrounding lymph nodes and glands.
Some of the main treatments for non-invasive penile malignant tumors include:
- circumcision, which is the removal of the foreskin of the penis
- laser therapy, which uses high-frequency pulses of light to destroy tumors and cancer cells
- chemotherapy, which is an aggressive form of chemical drug therapy that helps eliminate cancer cells in the body
- radiation therapy, which uses high-energy radiation to reduce tumors and destroy cancer cells
- cryosurgery, which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze tumors and remove them
Excision surgery may be performed to remove the tumor from the penis. You will be given local anesthesia, which will anesthetize this area and prevent you from feeling any pain. Your surgeon will then remove the tumor and the affected area, leaving healthy tissue and skin. The incision will be closed by suturing.
Moss surgery is another surgical intervention that is done to treat penile cancer. The purpose of the Moss operation is to remove as few tissues as possible, but at the same time to get rid of all the cancer cells. During the procedure, your surgeon will remove a thin layer of the affected area and then examine it under a microscope to determine if it contains cancer cells. This process is repeated until cancer cells are detected in tissue samples.
Typically, malignant tumors of penis cancer are characterized by slow progression, so the disease can be detected even in the early stages of development. When penile cancer occurs, the symptoms and first signs appear clearly, in the form of a tubercle, nodule, wound or sore. The preferred location is the head of the penis, but sometimes it can be the foreskin.
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The following general symptoms of penile cancer are distinguished:
- genital organ pain
- the occurrence of itching,
- the appearance of edema,
- sharp pain during urination,
- unpleasant odor and purulent discharge,
- general weakness of the body,
- urethral bleeding
- impaired bladder function,
- a sharp decrease in total body weight,
- hyperemia of the skin of the penis.
How strongly the symptoms are expressed depends on the stage of the course of the cancer and its form, therefore the accuracy of diagnosis and the correctness of the chosen treatment methodology are very important.
When a disease is detected at the first stages of development, conservative treatment is possible, and if the disease is neglected, surgery can no longer be dispensed with.
In some cases, the penis should be removed to preserve the patient's life.
Partial penectomy is an operation in which part of the penis is removed. This operation will be advisable only if the tumor has a diameter of less than 2 centimeters. For tumors larger than 2 centimeters, the entire penis must be removed. Complete removal of the penis is called complete penectomy.
Regardless of the type of surgery, you will need to be seen by a doctor every two to four months during the first year after surgery. If your entire penis is removed, your cancer will have to be in complete remission for at least two years before you can become a candidate for penile reconstructive surgery.
What is the long term perspective for people with penile cancer?
Many people diagnosed with penile cancer in their early stages often recover completely.In fact, the cure rate for people with tumors that do not extend to the glands or lymph nodes is between 80 and 100 percent. However, as soon as the cancer reaches the lymph nodes in the groin, the survival rate drops to less than 50 percent over a five-year period.
It is important to note that these are general statistics and your prospects may vary depending on your age and general health. The most important thing you can do to increase your chances of recovery is to adhere to the course of treatment suggested by your doctor.
The main symptoms of penile cancer
Penile cancer (photo below) initially manifested on the skin in the form a small spot that has a pink or red tint.
This spot is most often found on the head of the penis, but sometimes appears in other places, for example, anywhere along the entire length of the stem of the penis.
It does not hurt, no blood is released from it, and in general there are no specific inconveniences. But during the progression of the disease, this spot increases, spreads along the penis, becomes denser and takes the form of a tubercle.
From this moment, a painful sensation appears and skin itching is possible, there may be bleeding. If the foreskin is affected, purulent discharge with a pungent odor may also occur. Outside the penis, an increase in lymph nodes is determined. All of the above is main symptoms of penile cancer.
Also, as the cancer of the penis (photo below) develops, the following symptoms occur:
- The appearance of pain during urination,
- Sleep disturbance, lack of sleep,
- General malaise and weakness throughout the body,
- Weight loss.
Photo of what penile cancer looks like:
Penile Cancer: Causes
As for the etiology of the development of penile cancer, it consists of many possible factors. It has long been confirmed by many medical staff that the development of this pathology due to the presence of bad habits in a man, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, as well as non-compliance with intimate hygiene.
It is noted that smoking men are generally at greater risk the formation of a malignant neoplasm in the entire urinary system. This is mainly due to the fact that products resulting from the burning of the contents of tobacco products have a carcinogenic effect.
Regarding non-compliance intimate hygiene, then this factor contributes to the accumulation of smegma and dead epidermal cells under the foreskin, which provokes irritation of the scalp and the formation of an inflammatory process. Having a permanent character, all this increases the likelihood that penile cancer (photos are presented above).
Also cause head cancer may be the presence of phimosisin which the foreskin squeezes the head.
Other diseases, such as Bowen's disease, leukoplakia, Kaposi's sarcoma, and Keyr erythroplasia, can also be factors in the development. The reasons include a variety of sexually transmitted infections and promiscuous sexual relations in general. to contents ↑
Fighting Penile Cancer
It is important to have strong psychological support with which you can cope with any anxiety or stress that you may have. You might also want to join the cancer support group, where you can discuss your problems with other people who are familiar with your experiences. Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. You can also find information on support groups at the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society websites.
If an education occurs on the penis, it is necessary to undergo a medical examination at the local GP without delay. An experienced doctor knows exactly what cancer is, what it looks like and which doctor to send to the patient after a general examination. During diagnosis, the involvement of specialists is required: a urologist, oncologist and andrologist.
In order to accurately diagnose penile cancer, its shape, stage of development and spread of metastases, the following studies are necessary:
- ultrasound examination (ultrasound),
- computed tomography (CT),
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
- abdominal radiography
Since the symptoms of a malignant tumor of the penis are often similar to other pathologies of the penis, cancer must be differentiated from angioma, papilloma, nevus, syphilis and a number of other diseases. A major role is played by puncture, during which the study of the fluid of the pathogenic tubercle is performed. Therapy is prescribed, based on the results of all studies and the collected history.
If penile cancer is diagnosed in the early stages of development, the patient may be given conservative treatment, as well as radiation therapy and brachytherapy. The effectiveness of these methods is rarely justified, therefore, if the disease could not be cured after conservative therapy, the patient is prescribed surgery.
It should be noted that cancer is more often detected already during the course of the advanced stage, when the patient needs emergency treatment through surgical procedures followed by rehabilitation. Surgical treatment can be carried out in two ways:
- Organ-saving method - this method includes laser therapy and cryodestruction of the neoplasm, as well as scalping of the penis and circumcision. Pathological areas of the skin are excised, after which plastic surgery of the genital organ is performed.
- Removal of the affected organ - often the operation is partially carried out, after which the patient has sexual functions and the possibility of urination in a standing position. Complete removal of the penis is possible in case of extensive lesion and rapidly progressing pathology.
Regardless of the choice of method of operation, the patient may additionally be prescribed a course of radiation and chemical therapy to prevent relapse of the tumor.
Complications and consequences
After treatment for penile cancer with radiation and brachytherapy, complications such as urethral stricture and organ necrosis are possible. If laser therapy is prescribed, there is a risk of bleeding. The most serious consequences may occur after surgical treatment of a penile tumor:
- narrowing of the urethra,
- short length and insufficient elasticity of the organ,
- complete member removal,
- decreased sensitivity of the penis.
It all depends directly on the extent of organ damage by a malignant tumor.
Forecast and Prevention
With this disease, the five-year survival rate of patients is from seventy to one hundred percent, if the identification of a member's tumor was in the early stages. If cancer was diagnosed at the third stage of development, the number of patients with five-year survival does not exceed forty percent. For patients with fourth stage cancer of the penis, five-year survival does not exceed five percent.
The main ways to prevent the disease are a healthy lifestyle and compliance with personal hygiene. It is also important to have a reasonable sex life, excluding casual relationships, as one of the common causes of penile cancer is HIV infection.
To maintain your health, you should regularly undergo a scheduled medical examination by a urologist. Thus, it is possible to identify most diseases in the early stages of development, after which conduct optimal treatment and achieve complete recovery.
What are the forms of the disease?
Before talking about eloquent symptoms, it is worth recalling that penile cancer can have one of the diagnosed forms. In extensive medical practice, there are:
In modern medicine emit four stages of penile cancerwhere the determining factor is the presence of metastases. So:
- In the first stage, cancer cells appear that extend exclusively to the skin of the penis.
- In the second stage, a malignant tumor grows in the cavernous body of the penis, increasing its size and making it compacted even without an erection.
Having studied this classification, the conclusion suggests itself: it is desirable to diagnose the disease at an early stageuntil the effect of metastasis has spread to the entire body. As you know, in neglected clinical pictures, the patient may even die unexpectedly.
Penile cancer: symptoms and signs of penile cancer, causes of penile oncology, treatment
The penis, or penis, is an organ of the male urogenital system. It has a dual function: in the thickness of the penis, the urethra passes through which urine and semen are excreted. Anatomically, the following parts are distinguished in the penis:
- A body that starts from the body and passes in front of the head.
- The head is the end of the penis, covered with thin sensitive skin.
- The foreskin is a fold of skin that runs transversely in a circle and protects the head.
- Bridle - a fold of skin that runs from below under the head in the longitudinal direction and connects it to the skin.
Inside the penis are two cavernous body - during intercourse, they are filled with blood and provide an erection - and one spongy body - the urethra passes through it.
Does penile cancer happen? Penile cancer refers to malignant tumors that develop from the skin covering it. They are rare. According to American and European statistics, annually, one of 100,000 men is diagnosed with penile cancer, it makes up 1% of all oncological diseases in men.
How often is penile cancer
Based on existing statistics, we can confidently say that penile cancer (symptoms described above) belongs to the category of rare oncological diseases.
In European countries, the frequency of occurrence of this pathology 1 to 100 thousand. In percentage terms, cancer relative to other oncological pathologies of the urinary system in men occurs in 2-4% of cases.
Most often, this disease is observed in those men whose age exceeds 60 years, but there were cases of an earlier development of pathology, even several cases of penile cancer in children.
As for the detection of this pathology, in 30% of cases it is detected during the progression stage, when the tumor already extends beyond the borders of the penis. And in 10% of men who were diagnosed with a locally advanced form of cancer, the appearance of metastases is noted. to contents ↑
History of the disease
The reasons that indicate the development of a cancer of the penis are unknown. There are several suggestions that may have the basis for the development of oncology. Doctors explain the development of cancer primarily by non-observance of personal hygiene.
Smegma, which accumulates in the folds of organ tissues (in the prepuce sac), has a carcinogenic effect. Patients with congenital phimosis are most susceptible to such an accumulation, as a result of which a favorable environment is created for the accumulation of carcinogenic fluid.
There are several forms of penile cancer:
- Nodal or infiltrative
Ulcerative form characterized by very rapid growth, accompanied by destruction of surrounding tissues. Tumor cells in this case penetrate into the cavernous bodies and quickly spread through the regional lymph nodes.
In case of nodal form superficial tumor growth of an infiltrative nature is observed. The course of the disease is slow.
At papillary form most often there is a favorable development of the disease, which helps to calmly help the patient. The course of this cancer is long, and metastases appear late.
Edematous form refers to the rarest of all listed. It is characterized by extremely rapid growth, the early appearance of metastases in the lymph nodes and distant organs. to contents ↑
Penile cancer pathogenesis
The trigger for developing penile cancer is a chronic inflammatory condition. They develop due to prolonged irritation of the skin of the prepuce sac - folds of the foreskin - by the decay products of bacterial epithelial cells. In this case, smegma - the natural white discharge between the head and foreskin - is not a carcinogen.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the penis in the early stages of development is a slowly growing tumor. Since it rarely interferes with urination or erectile function, patients do not complain for a long time until the pain syndrome joins and cancerous ulceration appears on the skin of the penis. At this point, the cancer usually passes from the surface to the invasive (penetrating) form.
The development of the tumor occurs both through direct molecular changes, and through precancerous lesions, which later undergo a malignant transformation.
A recent study confirmed the association between obesity and the risk of invasive penile cancer. So, the risk of developing the disease increases by 53% with an increase in body mass index by five units.
A significant role in the development of the disease has a marital status. This was confirmed in another population-based study, which showed that the prevalence of penile cancer among married men is lower compared to single men. Marital status is also an independent predictor of mortality in men with penile cancer.
The presence of papillomavirus condylomas is associated with a five-fold increase in the risk of developing penile cancer. The carcinogenic mechanism of exposure to human papillomavirus is due to the fact that viral oncoproteins E6 and E7 inactivate suppressor genes p53 and pRbthat inhibit the appearance of malignant tumor cells.
A number of studies evaluating the prevalence of human papillomavirus among patients with penile cancer have shown that 48% of the evaluated tumors tested positive for human papillomavirus.
In recent years, vaccination against human papillomavirus among girls has become widespread. This has led to success in the fight against malignant tumors associated with this virus in women in Western countries. However, the epidemiological consequences of such vaccinations have yet to be assessed. Modern research has begun to study the effectiveness of using this type of vaccination in boys for the prevention of penile cancer and other diseases.
Penile cancer is not related to HIV or AIDS.However, immunosuppressive therapy (suppression of immunity), carried out during organ transplantation, in the treatment of HIV infection or AIDS, significantly increases the risk of developing penile cancer.
Classification and stages of development of penile cancer
Most often, malignant tumors of the penis are squamous cell carcinoma. This aggressive tumor is characterized by early metastasis.
The second most common type, accounting for approximately 10% of cases, is a very aggressive basaloid type of penile cancer.
Cancer types such as verrucous (reminiscent of a wart), sarcomatous and adenosquamous cancer are rare. They metastasize only in exceptional cases and have a much better prognosis.
Penile mesenchymal tumors are even less common in clinical practice. Their frequency does not exceed 3%. Such formations include Kaposi's sarcoma, angiosarcoma, epithelioid hemangioendothelioma of the penis. The scientific literature describes cases of metastasis of malignant tumors (bladder, prostate, kidney and rectum) in the penis.
According to the nature of the growth of a malignant tumor of the penis, the disease is divided into three types:
- nodal or with vertical growth,
- Verrucous (most benign).
According to the localization, ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases) identifies five types of penile cancer:
- C60.0 - malignant tumor of the foreskin of the penis,
- C60.1 - malignant tumor of the glans penis,
- C60.2 - malignant tumor of the body of the penis,
- C60.8 - malignant tumor of the penis, beyond the above localizations,
- C60.9 - malignant tumor of the penis, unspecified localization.
Penile cancer stages are presented in the 2009 TNM classification. T indicates in it the prevalence of the primary tumor, and N indicates the process of metastasis in the lymph nodes.
|Category||Clinical picture||Pathomorphological picture|
|Tis||Preinvasive Cancer - The Initial Stage of Cancer|
|Ta||Non-invasive Verrucous carcinoma - tumor without invasion with destruction|
|T1||Subepithelial connective tissue invasion|
⠀ • ⠀ without the penetration of cancer cells into blood vessels and lymph flow - T1G1-2
⠀ • ⠀ with lymphatic vascular invasion - T1G 3-4
|T2||Invasion of the cavernous and / or spongy body of the urethra|
|T4||Invasion of the prostate and other organs|
unilateral inguinal lymph nodes
|Intranodal metastasis in one inguinal|
multiple or bilateral
inguinal lymph nodes
|More than one or bilateral|
metastases to the inguinal lymph nodes
or pelvic lymph nodes,
unilateral or bilateral
or extracapsular extension
The anatomical features of the penis and the presence of a cross of lymphatic vessels in the area of the root of the penis contribute to the formation of cross metastasis, i.e., the spread of the tumor on the opposite side.
Cross metastasis occurs in 81% of patients. Therefore, with an increase in lymph nodes on the one hand, there is a high probability of the presence of cancer cells in unexplained lymph nodes on the opposite side.
Metastasis occurs in stages: first to the inguinal, and then to the pelvic lymph nodes. Palpable metastases occur in 50% of patients with penile cancer. Moreover, only in 50% of cases tumor cells are found in them. In other patients, the lymph nodes are enlarged due to inguinal lymphadenitis, caused by an infectious and inflammatory process that has joined an external tumor of the penis.
Enlarged lymph nodes do not always indicate metastasis in the same way as un enlarged lymph nodes indicate their cancerous lesion. Remote metastasis of penile cancer is extremely rare.
Prevalence and relevance
Penile cancer has a low prevalence of: among oncological diseases occurs in no more than 4% of cases. Despite the infrequent manifestations of the disease, its significance cannot be underestimated. Oncological diseases are fatal in case of untimely detection.
In addition, the presence of a malignant tumor of the penis leads to problems that impede the normal functioning of the urogenital system of men.
Predisposing factors for the disease are the following indicators:
- phimosis. In 25% of cases of development of cancer of the penis, the presence of phimosis was the root cause of malignancy,
- papilloma virus
- skin horn. It is the result of an injury, nevus of an organ, an injured mole,
- erythroplasia of Keira. The formation of a reddened area with clear contours on the head of the organ or on the skin of the foreskin,
- sclerosing lichen. Penis inflammation,
- Bowen's disease. It is determined by the presence of a red plaque on the organ,
- chronic inflammatory processes in the genital organ.
Important! Inadequate hygiene can trigger penile cancer.
Smoking patients are more likely to experience oncology than non-smokers.
Causes and consequences
The reasons leading to the development of malignancy:
- photochemotherapy. With this procedure, exposure to the skin with ultraviolet rays is carried out in conjunction with the use of herbal creams. The procedure is performed in the presence of skin pathologies of vitiligo and psoriasis,
- early active sex life with a constant change of partners,
- infections that are transmitted through the genital canals during sexual intercourse,
- the presence of papillomas,
- smoking (toxic substances inhaled by smoking affect the cells of the body and immunity)
- the presence of genital warts (viral warts),
- stagnation of smegma in the bosom of the prepuce sac.
Video: "Penile cancer - what are these and what are the treatments?"
What are the symptoms of the disease?
Usually, malignant tumors in the body progress very slowly, and penile cancer is no exception. If the disease is detected at an early stage, it can be completely cured and, thanks to the recommended prevention, no longer be afraid of complications and tragic health consequences.
If you carefully monitor the hygiene of the genital organs, then the first symptoms of cancer can be detected even at an early stage, when a tubercle, nodule, sore, papilloma or wound appears on the penis. Most often, such a neoplasm is located on the glans penis, less often - in the foreskin.
Among the additional symptoms, the following anomalies can be distinguished:
- acute pain syndrome,
- cutaneous itching,
- increased swelling,
- painful urination,
- fetid discharge from pustules,
- an increase in inguinal lymph nodes,
- chronic lack of sleep and malaise,
- bleeding from a tumor
- urinary system dysfunction,
- weight loss,
- hyperemia of the skin of the penis.
The severity of such symptoms depends entirely on the stage and form of the disease, so a timely response to the program and well-chosen treatment are very important. Doctors say that penile cancer of the first two degrees lends itself to successful conservative treatment, and in advanced clinical pictures, surgery is required (not always successful and without complications).
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Classification, stages of penile cancer
In 95% of cases, the tumor is represented squamous cell carcinoma of the penis, or squamous cell carcinoma. Usually it grows slowly, it is often diagnosed in the early stages and successfully treated. A malignant neoplasm can be on any part of the penis, most often there is squamous cell carcinoma of the head of the penis and foreskin.
Are much less common warty carcinomas, or Bushke-Lovenstein tumors. Outwardly, they resemble large warts. Such cancer also grows slowly, can reach large sizes, grow deep into neighboring tissues, but rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
On the skin of the penis, as elsewhere, are found melanomas. This localization is not very characteristic, since more often melanoma appears on areas of the skin exposed to sunlight. This is an aggressive tumor, it metastases early and often has a poor prognosis.
Another slowly growing and very rare type of penile skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma, or basal cell carcinoma. Very rarely on the skin of the penis are adenocarcinomas - malignant tumors from sweat gland cells.
Depending on the size of the main tumor (T), the spread of cells to nearby lymph nodes (N) and the presence of distant metastases (M), the following stages of penile cancer are distinguished:
- Stage 0: a tumor that is located in the surface layers of the skin and does not extend deeper. This is the so-called "cancer in place."
- Stage I: the tumor has grown into the skin somewhat stronger, but so far does not grow into neighboring tissues.
- Stage II: a tumor that has grown in the blood, lymph vessels, spongy, cavernous bodies, or in the urethra, or cancer cells have a low degree of differentiation and have completely lost their resemblance to normal ones.
- Stage III: the tumor does not grow outside the penis, and the tumor cells have managed to spread to one (substage IIIA) or more (substage IIIB) lymph nodes in the groin.
- Stage IV: the tumor has grown into the scrotum, prostate, pubic bones, or the cancer cells have spread to the inguinal lymph nodes and sprouted from them into the surrounding tissues, or there are distant metastases.
Malignant formations with the help of drugs are treated with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy involves the use of strong chemicals that destroy and inhibit the development of malignant cells.
- alkylating cytostatics,
- herbal preparations
In addition, hormonal drugs, antihormones that inhibit the development of tumors are used in complex treatment.
Penile Cancer Complications
Most often, with penile cancer, local complications develop - infection, purulent-necrotic inflammation (phlegmon), bleeding from a primary tumor, urethral fistula, and sepsis. In some cases, with the disease, lymphedema or lymphostasis occurs - leg swelling due to impaired lymphatic outflow. If penile cancer is not treated, then self-amputation can occur.
It should be noted that both the development of penal cancer and the consequences of the treatment have a significant impact on the quality of life of men. Firstly, his sexual function suffers, secondly, a violation of the act of urination is possible, and thirdly, the cosmetic appearance worsens. All this destructively affects the moral state of the patient. Therefore, the psychological support of family members is extremely important.
Conservative treatment methods include:
|Type of surgical intervention||Indications||Features|