Penile cancer

Is it true that not washing your penis can cause cancer?

Yup. Poor hygiene is one of the main factors associated with penile cancer. Washing the organ with soap and water is a simple action and the best way to prevent the disease. It is important to carefully clean the foreskin, the skin that covers the “head” of the penis.

What attitudes are important for the prevention of penile cancer?

The main measure for the prevention of penile cancer is the constant maintenance of adequate hygiene of the organ. Another important measure is the use of condoms in any sexual relationship, as it reduces the chance of contagion of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as infection by the HPV virus. Circumcision also reduces the risk of developing the disease.

Can phimosis surgery help prevent penile cancer?

Yup. An approximate 3.2-fold reduction in the risk of penile cancer is estimated in those men who underwent postectomy at birth when compared to men who did not have the procedure.

Is early detection of penile cancer important?

Yup. The earlier the diagnosis of penile cancer, the greater the chance of cure. In addition, the disease when diagnosed in early stages is treated less aggressively, resulting in fewer sequelae and side effects.

What are the warning signs for the presence of penile cancer?

The most important warning signs are: change in organ pigmentation; wounds or lesions that do not go away after medical treatment, especially when accompanied by secretions and a foul odor; tumor on the penis and/or bumps in the groin area; long-term inflammation.

Which professional is best suited to evaluate a suspicious penile lesion?

The doctor is the professional trained to evaluate, diagnose and treat any disease. The most appropriate medical specialist in these cases is usually the urologist.

How to differentiate a benign penile lesion from a malignant lesion?

There are two ways to make this distinction. Clinically, through the characteristics and evolutionary history of the lesion. Pathologically, through the biopsy exam. Only biopsy can definitively diagnose penile cancer.

What tests are usually ordered after the diagnosis of penile cancer?

Your doctor may order blood and imaging tests to assess the local extent of the disease or whether other organs are involved. The most commonly indicated tests include CT and/or MRI of the abdomen and pelvis and chest X-ray. In some situations, other tests such as PET/CT (proton emission computed tomography) or bone scintigraphy may be useful.

Is it possible to cure penile cancer without the need for surgery?

Not. To date, surgery remains a fundamental component for the curative treatment of penile cancer.

Is radiotherapy always necessary?

Not always. The indication of radiotherapy treatment must be individualized.

Should every penile cancer patient undergo chemotherapy?

Not. The oncologist must evaluate several factors related to the disease and the patient to decide on the indication of chemotherapy treatment.