Study: Peyronie's disease which causes curvature in penis, linked to health issues
Just speak to your doctor about it.
A bend or curve in the penis is common among men. In fact, it even has a name – Peyronie’s Disease. If your husband’s penis too is like this, then it’s best you show him this article. Researchers recently discovered that Peyronies diseases linked to cancer could be a possibility.
Like many parts of your body, a change in appearance or sensation in your penis could signal something that’s wrong. For instance, if you can’t easily get an erection, it could signal problems with blood flow.
Now, research focusing on the curvature of the penis and what this means for men’s health has been released.
A study from the Baylor College of Medicine suggests that Peyronie’s disease can possibly heighten the risks of developing some cancers. Peyronie’s disease is a health problem where scar tissue causes your penis to bend or curve.
While conducting the study, scientists examined health insurance claims of over 1.7 million men. Some of them had issues like Peyronie’s disease while others were normal.
After roughly nine years of following up with these men, researchers found that compared to men with “straight” penises, men with Peyronie’s disease:
- had a 43% higher chance to experience stomach cancer
- were 19% likelier to develop melanoma
- and 39% likelier to suffer from testicular cancer
Another pattern seemed to suggest increased risks for prostate cancer as well, but the data showed that it wasn’t statistically significant.
In order to understand why this link existed, scientists delved deeper into their analysis. They wanted to see if there a connection between Peyronie’s disease and cancer on a molecular level.
In order to do this, scientists sequenced full sets of genes from a father and son.
One had Peyronie’s disease while the other had an associated problem called Dupuytren’s contracture. Dupuytren’s contracture gives rise to unusually packed tissue in one’s palms and fingers.
They found that there indeed was a connection. Alexander Pastuszak, M.D., Ph.D, a urologist at the Baylor College of Medicine and of the study authors, clarifies: “We found they have multiple other mutations that put them at risk for certain types of cancers. This gives us additional, much better evidence that these conditions are actually linked.”
In fact, the mutations scientists recognised were actually the same sequences that are associated with gastric and genitourinary cancers. What this means is that there might be something else that could spark off the onset of Peyronie’s disease and cancers mentioned above.
Dads reading this, or mums with husbands with this condition, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
“A slight curve can be normal,” says Dr. Pastuszak. “There is some curvature in all penises.”
It might be a bit hard to diagnose Peyronie’s disease. The American Urological Association says that there isn’t a benchmark to compare how curved a penis should be that directs to Peyronie’s disease.
According to Dr. Pastuszak, however, you should be worried if
- your penis abruptly becomes curved, or
- its current curved shape intensifies.
Dads, you should definitely see a doctor if the symptoms above makes you feel uncomfortable or impedes sexual intercourse. Still, a diagnosis of Peyronie’s disease doesn’t absolutely mean you will develop cancer – so don’t worry too much.
Knowing you have Peyronie’s disease means that you should be more attentive of your your health. For example, you can go for more regular cancer screenings (particularly melanoma, prostate and testicular cancers) as well as health checks.
Not all Peyronie’s-linked cancers may have screenings. This is where you have to be observant, as is the case of stomach cancer. The first step is to recognise symptoms, after which you can contact your doctor at the the first instance of it and have a better chance of curing cancer.
Stomach cancer has symptoms like:
- feeling full even if you’ve only eaten very little
Overall, the study highlights the importance of patients experiencing Peyronie’s to always follow-up with their doctor after a confirmed diagnosis.
Dr. Pastuszak suggests that “It’s worth checking in with your doctor once a year or once every two years, to make sure you’re doing okay.” A consultation can also pave the way for talking about which tests and screenings you should take, and when.
Dads, in addition to Peyronie’s, there are other serious penile conditions that you need to be aware of:
- Priapism. This is an aching erection that doesn’t go down after over four hours.
- Palanitis, a disease characterised by an inflamed or infected penis head.
- Phimosis, a condition where the penis’s foreskin becomes too tight such that it can’t be tugged to the rear of the penis head.
- Paraphimosis, which happens when the foreskin, once retracted, gets stuck behind the head and cannot return to its natural location. It is a medical emergency that can cause serious complications if not treated.
- Penile cancer, a cancer that may happen infrequently and begins within the penis’s skin cells.
Any of the following should ring a alarm bell to consult your nearest medical professional:
- having an aching, swollen or pain-sensitive penis
- an unusual discharge
- skin abnormalities like rashes, blisters, sores, or small red bumps that are itchy
- having blood mixed with urine or semen
- an erection that doesn’t stop after over four hours
- having foreskin that is so tight it can’t be moved