Is it cancer of the penis or an STD?

“Woah SuperBad 3! Hold it right there – I can get penis cancer?!” Yes, guys, it’s a rare type of cancer, but it is possible.

The exact cause of penis cancer is unknown, but there are factors that put you at a higher risk for it – the most common way is through the STD, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

How do you get HPV?

You can get HPV through different types of sexual contact with someone who is infected. It’s a skin-to-skin infection and so you can get it through oral sex, not only intercourse.

There are over 100 types of this virus and, in most cases, you won’t experience any symptoms because your body’s immune system is able to kill it. However, if your front-line of defence is weakened, due to other health issues such as HIV/AIDS, your immune system may struggle to battle it.

Symptoms and treatment of HPV

The symptoms include genital warts and – rarely – warts in your throat (known as recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.)

The warts generally go away by themselves, but because there is no cure for HPV, they may reappear.

If they don’t disappear, there are over-the-counter medications available. Ask your pharmacist for a medicine that contains Salicylic acid. If that doesn’t work, there are other drugs available; in certain cases your doctor may suggest surgical treatment.

How do I know if it’s cancer?

Currently experts have stated that there is unfortunately no way to know if you will – or won’t get cancer.

What we can tell you is that it may take years – even decades – before there are signs of cancer. But if cancer cells do develop, this is what you need to look out for, according to the CDC:

  1. First signs: changes in colour, skin thickening, or a build-up of tissue on the penis.
  2. Later signs: a growth or sore on the penis. It is usually painless, but in some cases, the sore may be painful and bleed.
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We know that you want your “private parts” to remain, well – private. It’s not a flattering subject to talk about, but it is necessary for it to be checked. If you feel too embarrassed about seeing a doctor, you can give one of our medical professionals a text or request a call-back.

So, guys, please don’t keep this to yourself. A quick drop of your briefs may save your life!

 

Sources

http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/hpvandmen-fact-sheet-february-2012.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/signs-symptoms.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hpv-infection/symptoms-causes/dxc-20199064

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/penile-cancer/about/risks-and-causes-of-penile-cancer

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/08/25/common-std-blamed-for-half-penile-cancers.html

http://www.healthline.com/health/human-papillomavirus-infection#Symptoms3