Penile cancer is actually very rare – only around 400 new cases are diagnosed each year in the UK – however, being told you have penile cancer can be devastating.
Symptoms include areas of skin becoming thick and discoloured, a lump or small bumps, growths or ulcers on the skin and an unpleasant smelling discharge – however, it’s important to remember all of these things can happen due to other causes too and don’t automatically mean you have cancer.
When penile cancer is suspected, patients will be evaluated with a biopsy, an MRI scan and a CT scan to ensure the cancer hasn’t spread. Penile cancer can spread via the lymph nodes, so these will be carefully checked. Sometimes, patients may require further surgery in the form of either a sentinel node biopsy or lymphadenectomy (removal of the lymph nodes). In more advanced cases, abdominal surgery may be required.
Penile surgery can understandably be a very daunting prospect. Suks will ensure everything is clearly explained and all your questions are answered, and that the latest techniques in penile reconstruction are used. Historically, patients would undergo partial amputation and radical surgery – although this is sometimes still required, the majority of patients can be treated from reconstructive surgery, which involves removing a small part of the penis and then reconstructing it using skin grafts and other techniques.