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Penile Cancer

Integrative Treatment Options for All Stages of Penile Cancer

Penile Cancer Treatment Center

Penile cancer is a malignancy that starts in the penis. It's usually characterized by a tumor (a lumpy mass of tissue) that can show up anywhere on the head (glans), foreskin, or shaft of the penis. This is a rare type of cancer in the United States. The disease is diagnosed in fewer than one man out of 100,000 every year and accounts for less than 1% of all cancer cases in the U.S. However, penile cancer is far more prevalent in certain Asian, Latin American, and African countries.

Although penile cancer is itself very rare, part of the reason for the low incidence rate is misdiagnosis since many healthcare providers have little to no experience with the disease. While other cancers of the male genitalia, such as prostate and testicular cancers, are generally well known, most men are unaware that cancer can develop in the penis at all. Also, some men may be understandably nervous or embarrassed about having this sensitive area examined by a doctor, even when there's a problem.

This is a shame because penile cancer is highly treatable if addressed in its early stages. Conversely, late-stage penile cancer is difficult to treat and can be fatal. As the disease progresses, the growing tumor can devastate the penis and spread to other organs in the groin and pelvic areas through metastasis.

What Is Penile Cancer?

The penis is a complex organ made up of three chambers of smooth, spongy tissue. These spongy tissues have a dense network of blood vessels that nourish the organ and supply the blood needed for an erection. It’s also covered with skin, on which most penile cancers originate and work their way deeper into the organ. Like most cancers, penile cancer results from the rapid and uncontrolled multiplication of abnormal cells.

There are five main types of penile cancer:

  1. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) – This is the most common type of penile cancer; it accounts for about 95% of all cases. The cancer starts in the squamous cells in the outer layer (epidermis) of the penile skin. SCC can form anywhere on the penis, but it's mostly seen on the foreskin as a lesion or wart.
  2. Melanoma – This cancer starts in the melanocytes, the cells responsible for the skin’s pigment and UV protection. Melanoma tends to develop in sun-exposed areas on the skin, but it can also occur on the skin covering the penis, albeit rarely. But when it does happen, it can be a highly aggressive and dangerous cancer.
  3. Basal cell carcinoma – Basal cells are round skin cells located under the squamous cells. These cells can sometimes develop a slow-growing cancer that rarely metastasizes.
  4. Sarcoma – This rare penile cancer usually starts in the penis’s soft muscles, blood vessels, or connective tissues.
  5. Adenocarcinoma – This cancer affects the sweat glands under the surface of the penile skin.

Is Penile Cancer Preventable?

Penile cancer is preventable, but only to some extent. To learn how you can prevent this disease, it's essential first to understand the well-known risk factors of penile cancer, which are:

  • Lack of circumcision – Penile cancer occurs almost exclusively in uncircumcised men. Those circumcised at a young age are at a much lower risk of developing penile cancer.
  • Poor genital hygiene – Poor genital hygiene is closely associated with penile cancer, although the link between the two is not clearly understood.
  • Phimosis – This is a condition in which the foreskin fails to retract all the way over the head of the penis. This condition is found in 25% to 60% of men with penile cancer.
  • HPV infections – HPV is a common risk factor for various malignancies, including penile cancer. The virus is believed to be behind more than 60% of all penile cancer cases.
  • Smoking – Cigarette smokers are over four times more likely to develop invasive penile cancer than non-smokers.
  • Age – The disease is more prevalent in older men (over 60 years).
  • Infections and health/physical conditions, such as obesity and immune problems, that induce chronic inflammation can also lead to penile cancer.

The takeaway from these risk factors is that you can significantly lower your risk of penile cancer by getting circumcised, observing good genital hygiene, vaccinating against HPV, and avoiding smoking.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Penile Cancer?

Although not all penile cancer patients may present with symptoms, most penile cancers often cause the penis to change in appearance and feel. Here are the common signs and symptoms of penile cancer:

  • Changes in the color, thickness, or texture of the penis skin
  • Crusts or bumps on the surface of the penis
  • Painless lumps beneath the skin of the penis
  • Painless or painful sores/rashes that may bleed, usually on the glans or foreskin
  • Foul-smelling discharge from underneath the foreskin
  • Swelling, tenderness, or irritation on the glans

How Is Penile Cancer Diagnosed?

Many of the physical symptoms we've just listed are classic indicators of penile cancer. However, they can be caused by other health issues or non-malignant/benign lesions on the penis. So, a clinical diagnosis is the only way to be certain of the disease.

The doctor will first perform a preliminary physical exam of the penis. They’ll then proceed to a biopsy if they find any reasons to suspect cancer. During a biopsy, the doctor takes a fluid or tissue sample from the penis or inguinal lymph nodes and examines it under a microscope for signs of malignancy.

If the cancer is detected, image tests may be carried out to establish the extent of the disease. These are usually X-ray, PET, CT, or MRI scans of the lower abdomen. This helps the doctor stage or grade the malignancy and give an informed prognosis.

Penile cancer is graded using the Grade (G) system that classifies tumor cells based on how dissimilar they are from normal healthy cells.

  • Grade X (undetermined grade) – Tumor grade cannot be identified.
  • Grade 1 (low grade) – Tumor cells are well differentiated, almost similar to normal cells.
  • Grade 2 (intermediate grade) – Tumor cells are moderately differentiated.
  • Grade 3 (high grade) – Tumor cells are poorly differentiated.
  • Grade 4 (high grade) – Tumor cells are not differentiated.

As for the staging, the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) staging system is used to describe the disease’s extent and progress.

  • Stage I – Carcinoma in situ (Tis); the cancer is low grade and only present on the skin of the penis.
  • Stage II – The tumor is no larger than 2 cm across but is now high grade and spreading into penile blood vessels, lymph vessels, and nerves.
  • Stage III – The tumor is between 2 cm and 4 cm across and has spread beyond the penis and into the inguinal lymph nodes.
  • Stage IV – The tumor is larger than 4 cm and has started spreading to nearby tissues in the pelvic region. At this stage, the cancer has metastasized and can even travel to distant organs.

Natural Treatment for Penile Cancer with Brio-Medical

Historically, penile cancer has been treated through highly invasive techniques such as surgery (penectomy), lymph node dissection, tumor excision, circumcision, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, depending on the cancer type and stage. But Brio-Medical introduces a new, less harmful, mildly invasive, and more wholesome philosophy to penile cancer treatment.

We understand men’s sensitivity when it comes to the groin area, which is why holistic penile cancer treatments are centered around comfort and gentleness. Our highly qualified medical practitioners administer proven natural therapies that stimulate the body's innate abilities to fight disease. And besides the body, we also address mental and emotional wellness by treating the being as a whole.

Here are some of our holistic cancer treatments that can be administered either on their own or in conjunction with other mainstream treatments:

Become a Brio-medical patient today and start fighting penile cancer with holistic medicine.


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