Penis cancer: almost 25% of cases in Brazil lead to amputation
Poor hygiene is one of the main risk factors associated with the tumor; find out how it manifests itself.
Brazil is one of the countries with the highest incidence of penile cancer in the world, second only to countries in sub-Saharan Africa. According to unpublished data obtained exclusively by the Brazilian Society of Urology (SBU) from the Ministry of Health, 1,933 cases of the disease were registered in the country in 2022 alone — of which in 459 cases it was necessary to amputate the organ.
The numbers are not so different from those observed in previous years. From 2007 to 2022, 7,790 penile amputations due to cancer were performed by the Unified Health System (SUS). The number is equivalent to an average of 486 procedures per year.
Even if less frequent than other tumors, such as prostate cancer, penile cancer represents about 2% of all cases of malignant neoplasms diagnosed in men in Brazil, being more frequent in the North and Northeast regions, according to data from the National Institute of Cancer (Inca).
“It is directly related to low socio-economic and educational conditions, poor intimate hygiene and uncircumcised individuals. The saddest social data is that most cases are only discovered in an advanced stage, when the only possible treatment is the total removal of the organ”, pointed out urologist Ricardo La Roca previously to MinhaVida.
In February, when World Cancer Day is celebrated, the SBU will carry out a campaign to prevent and combat penile cancer.
What are the symptoms of penile cancer?
Generally, penile cancer manifests itself through athe visible and palpable lesion in the genital region, which may appear on the glans or on the inner surface of the foreskin — it may be nodular, ulcerated or have an inflammatory aspect. the wound causes itching, foul odor, swelling and burning, but the main feature is that it does not heal afterwards, and can be easily confused with a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
For this reason, it is essential to seek a specialist doctor in the appearance of any symptom, so that the diagnosis and adequate treatment can be made. If not treated early, the disease can get worse and increase in size, requiring partial or total amputation of the organ. Penile cancer can also lead to the death of the patient.
“The sooner treatment is started, the greater the chances of cure. Treatment depends on the local extension of the tumor and the involvement of the inguinal ganglia. Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the therapeutic alternatives”, explained Ricardo previously.
How to prevent penile cancer?
A lack of hygiene It is one of the main risk factors associated with penile cancer. Therefore, washing the organ daily with soap and water, especially under the foreskin (skin that covers the head of the glans), is one of the ways to prevent the tumor. This cleaning habit not only prevents the appearance of infections, but also leads the person to observe if there is any type of alteration or wound in the organ.
Learn more: 7 signs of poorly sanitized penis
If he is unable to completely pull the foreskin to wash, it may indicate phimosis, which is the difficulty of exposing the glans of the penis due to excess skin on the member. In these cases, the patient should seek help from a specialist so that a procedure is carried out that allows for proper cleaning of the organ.
Infection with the HPV virus is also a risk factor for the development of skin cancer, which indicates the need to protected sexual intercourse. The vaccine against the human papilloma virus is provided free of charge by the SUS for boys and girls aged between nine and 14 years.
Learn more: HPV: single dose of vaccine is enough for young people, says WHO
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The translator user relied on the following source:
Minha Vida Website – REF99827
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