Apparently, cases are said to be soaring by 20% and it is feared that symptoms are being misdiagnosed as STD’s.
Just take a look at these stats:
- Number of men diagnosed with disease has risen dramatically in 30 years
- May be due to changes in sexual behaviour, greater exposure to the human papilloma virus and decreasing rates of childhood circumcision
- Men who smoke are also more likely to get penile cancer
The human papilloma virus (HPV-related genital warts) are associated with a six-fold risk of penile cancer and the incidence of them has rapidly increased in men between 1970 to 2009, with a 30 per cent rise during 2000–2009.
Cancer charities are now urging men to be aware of symptoms of the disease – which are often confused with signs of a sexually transmitted infection.
Penile cancer has a high cure rate if detected early, but some men, such as Nigel Smith, from Wolverhampton, are misdiagnosed.
He was told at a sexual health clinic that he had a genital wart that would go away in time.
It didn’t, but rather than seek help, Nigel hid his symptoms from his wife for 12 months by sleeping in their spare bedroom, using his snoring as an excuse.
He was eventually diagnosed with penile cancer in 2011, aged 58, and last year underwent a partial penectomy (partial removal of the penis). He is currently considering reconstructive surgery.
He said: ‘If my GP had sent me to a urologist rather than a sex clinic, the cancer could have been diagnosed at stage 1 and treated.
‘By the time I saw a urologist, the cancer was stage 3 – one stage away from terminal. I’m now in temporary remission but there’s a 50/50 chance that the disease will return as a secondary cancer – maybe in my lungs or liver.