Penile cancer is a rare form of disease affecting the skin around the penis of the man suffering from it and can work its way inside. Though it generally affects men above the age of 50, in some cases, younger men have also been diagnosed with the disease. If diagnosed early, it can be treated and cured.
Recently, a 25-year-old man from Newcastle, England, hit the headlines after sharing his experience of suffering from terminal penile cancer which has left him with 'no feeling' in the area and prevents him from having sex. The disease is eating away his penis and he might have to lose his manhood entirely.
In June 2017, Clarke had trouble urinating and suspected it to be a mere infection when he discovered a lump of the size of a grain of rice on the tip of his penis, Fox News reported.
Doctors said he needs to get it circumcised as the foreskin is being too tight but even after the circumcision, the lump kept on growing. In three weeks, it increased to the size of a grape.
"I'd researched it and was convinced it was cancer," Clarke said. "The pain was unbelievable. It was that bad I would try not to go to the toilet. I was going about once a day and was crying in pain, it was the worst kind of burning." Clarke's worst nightmare was confirmed by a specialist later, after running a few tests.
The young man who is soon about to get married to fiancé, Paige King told Daily Mail: "It's absolutely destroyed me as a person. I struggle to walk to the toilet and my penis has no use other than to try and urinate from it. It has no feeling,"
Clarke, who has a son and is waiting for his unborn daughter added: "The cancer is busy eating away around it so I will probably lose it altogether soon. But I'm a soldier. I've got my kids to think about and I can't be selfish and give up."
According to WebMD, here are some of the symptoms and causes of the rare disease:
The warning signs of the disease can include changes in color or thickness of skin on the penis, lump or rash on it, smelly discharge underneath the foreskin, sore or ulcer on the penis, which may bleed.
The exact causes of the disease are not known by the experts but not being circumcised may make it more likely. Bodily fluids getting trapped in the foreskin and not washed away might contribute to the growth of cancer cells. Men exposed to certain strains of HPV (human papillomavirus) may also get penile cancer.
If any of the above symptoms are noticed one should get it tested. Doctors might suggest a biopsy, imaging tests such as X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look inside the body for tumors or other signs of whether cancer has spread. If diagnosed early, it can be treated.