Peyronie's Cancer Research
Peyronie’s is not a cancer and there is therefore nothing like Peyronie’s cancer. However, recent (2017) research shows that men with Peyronie’s unfortunately seem more likely to get certain types of cancer, especially stomach cancer, testicular cancer and melanoma.
This research was performed by Alexander Pastuszak, M.D., Ph.D and colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Pastuszak reported the findings October 31, 2017 at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine annual meeting. The conclusion:
"Men with PD have an increased risk of developing cancer, suggesting a possible common etiology between PD and cancer development, supporting recent genetic findings. As this is the first study to demonstrate a higher risk of cancer among men with PD, future research should focus on confirming these associations and elucidating pathways between PD and cancer. Moreover, additional follow-up of men with PD after diagnosis and treatment of PD may be warranted" (Fertility and Sterilty)
In the study, researchers analyzed health insurance claims from more than 1.7 million men. They identified 48,423 men with Peyronie’s, nearly 1.2 million men with erectile dysfunction and 484,230 without any penis problems (control group). The average age of the men was 48 – 50 and they were followed for a little over than 4 years (Reuters Health News).
They discovered that:
“men with Peyronie’s disease were 43 percent more likely to develop stomach cancer, 19 percent more likely to get melanoma, and 39 percent more likely to get diagnosed with testicular cancer than the men without any penis problems. There was also a trend toward a greater chance of prostate cancer, too, though it didn’t quite reach statistical significance in their analysis” (Men’s Health).
The researchers then carried out further genetic analysis of a father and son both suffering from Peyronie’s.
“While we still need to validate some of these findings and translate them from the lab to the clinical population, these data do provide a strong link both clinically and at the genetic level between PD and Dupuytren's – these fibrosing conditions – and malignancies in men” (Mail Online)
What Does This Mean For Men With Peyronie’s Disease?
A spokesperson from Cancer Research UK points out it is not yet fully understood what causes Peyronie’s disease and it’s possible it shares some similar risk factors to cancer. More research is however needed before knowing if Peyronie’s could lead to cancer.
Men with Peyronie’s should not panic but it makes sense for them to get familiar with the symptoms of the cancer types in question and to immediately seek professional advice if they notice anything of concern. As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry.
So let’s look at the main symptoms for each of the “Peyronie’s cancer” type.
Peyronie’s And Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer is fortunetly rare, NCI (National Cancer Institute) estimates it is only 1.7 percent of new cancer cases in the United States. However, according to this research men with Peyronie’s are 43 percent more likely to develop stomach cancer than men without Peyronie’s.
Unfortunately, there are typically no early signs or symptoms of stomach cancer. This means that people often don’t know anything is wrong until the cancer has reached an advanced stage.
So what can you do? If you are concerned you can ask your doctor to perform physical exam to check for any abnormalities and even have some blood test.
It is also helpful to know the other risk factors. Some of them are out of your control, like your sex, race, genes and age, but other risk factors you may be able to reduce, e.g. if you smoke, don’t exercise, etc. (Healthline).
The most common symptoms of advanced stomach cancer are
- Nausea and vomiting
- Frequent heartburn
- Loss of appetite, sometimes accompanied by sudden weight loss
- Constant bloating
- Early satiety (feeling full after eating only a small amount)
- Bloody stools
- Excessive fatigue
- Stomach pain, which may be worse after meals
Peyronie’s And Testicular Cancer
The first signs of testicular cancer are usually an enlarged testicle or a small lump / area of hardness. Other symptoms usually do not appear until after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of testicular cancer may include:
- Painless lump or swelling on either testicle
- Pain or discomfort (with or without swelling) in a testicle or the scrotum
- Change in the way a testicle feels or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- Dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin
- Sudden buildup of fluid in the scrotum
- Breast tenderness or growth
Lower back pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, and bloody sputum or phlegm and swelling of one or both legs or shortness of breath from a blood clot can also be symptoms of testicular cancer (Cancer.Net).
You should see a doctor as soon as possible if you feel any lump, enlargement, hardness or experience any pain or tenderness.
Peyronie’s And Melanoma
Unlike other cancers, melanoma can often be seen on the skin. This makes it easier to detect in its early stages.
The most important warning sign for melanoma is any change in size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin growth, e.g. birthmark. You should watch for changes that occur over a period of weeks to a month.
The so called ABCDE system helps you to know what changes to look for (WebMD).
- Asymmetry - One half of the mole or skin growth doesn't match the other half
- Border Irregularity - The edges are ragged, notched, or blurred
- Color - The color is not the same throughout the mole
- Diameter - The mole or skin growth is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
- Evolution - There is a change in the size, shape, symptoms (such as itching or tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or color of a mole
What To Do If You Think You Have Peyronie’s Cancer?
As said in the beginning there is no Peyronie’s cancer. However, having Peyronie’s may increase your risk of getting some form of cancers. If you suspect that you may have any type of cancer go and see your doctor as soon as possible as early diagnosis can seriously affect your chance of successful treatment.