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Penile cancer, as the name suggests, is valency that specifically affects the penis and surrounding tissues. The condition is marked by the gradual replacement of healthy cells in the penis with cancerous cells that grow uncontrollably and have the tendency to spread to other areas of the body, including the glands and lymph nodes. Since the penis is a male-specific organ, hence the malignancy is primarily found in males.

Some of the most common types of penile cancers, as listed by the experts from the best oncology treatment hospital in Pune, include:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma - Also known as epidermoid carcinoma, it accounts for 95% of the cases. The cancer usually develops on or under your foreskin.
  • Sarcoma - The cancer develops in the tissues, which include the blood vessels and muscles.
  • Melanoma - The cancer starts in the melanin cells, which are responsible for giving colour to your skin.
  • Basal cell carcinoma - The cancer develops deep within your skin and progresses at a very slow pace.

Look out for these symptoms:

A person suffering from penile cancer is likely to develop a mass or lump on the penis. Some even develop an ulcer. In some cases, the lump may be very small and insignificant, in others, it may be large enough to be seen by a naked eye. Doctors from the best cancer hospital in Pune suggest that in most case, the cancer is likely to develop around the head or foreskin of the penis. Some other symptoms associated with penile cancer have been listed below:

  • Persistent itching and burning sensation in the penis especially when you try to urinate
  • Explain discharge from the penis
  • A significant change in the colour of the penis
  • Thickening of the skin on the penis
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Swelling of lymph nodes present in the groin

While experiencing these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from penile cancer, it is better to not take the symptoms for granted and seek immediate medical help to get yourself evaluated.

Are you at a higher risk of developing renal cancer?

Some studies have clearly indicated that uncircumcised men are at a higher risk of developing penile cancer as they are more prone to conditions like phimosis and smegma. The former is marked by the tightening of the foreskin, whereas the latter is a growth that develops by the accumulation of dead skin cells, moisture and oil underneath the foreskin. The problem is often associated with poor hygiene.

Apart from this, there are several other factors that may increase your vulnerability to penile cancer. These include:

  • Men lying above the age of 60
  • Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products
  • Maintaining a poor personal hygiene
  • Lack of proper sanitation
  • STD or sexually transmitted disease like human papillomavirus.

Various stages of penile cancer

The staging of penile cancer helps us to understand the extent to which the cancer has spread and also serves as a primary criterion for developing a proper treatment plan. Penile cancer is broadly classified into the following stages:

  • Stage 0 - The cancer is localised and present only on the top layer of the skin. Metastasis has not taken place yet.
  • Stage 1 - The cancer has advanced to the connective tissue lying beneath the skin; however, it is not metastasized to any of the glands or lymph nodes.
  • Stage 2 - Though the cancer has not metastasized to other parts of the body, it has spread to the connective tissues, erectile tissues and lymph vessels.
  • Stage 3A - The cancer has metastasized to one or two lymph nodes present in the groin but has not spread to other parts of the patient's body.
  • Stage 3B - The cancer has metastasized to multiple lymph nodes in the groin, yet it has not spread beyond it.
  • Stage 4 - this cancer has spread to the surrounding areas as well as metastasized to other organs of the body.

Oncology treatment in Mumbai is offered at all the leading hospitals. You can easily consult any of the specialists for proper treatment and guidance.