Peyronie Disease Curved Penis May Increase Cancer Risk
A curved penis is a complication of diseases like Peyronie’s disease and is characterized by abnormal fibrosis of penile shaft, scarring of penile tissue that ultimately leads to the development of abnormal curvature of the penis. Besides causing cosmetic disfigurement, a curved penis may also present with several other complications such as the inability to maintain normal sexual functions, low self-worth, and body-image due to shortening of the penis and erectile dysfunction.
What causes Peyronie’s disease?
The exact pathophysiology of Peyronie disease is not known. It is imperative to mention that formation of scar tissue or fibrous plaques are not cancerous or contagious; and may occur due to a combination of hereditary, environmental, physical and autoimmune factors.
It is not exactly known how prevalent is Peyronie disease in the general population, but according to latest estimates, about 1-23% of all males in the age group between 40 to 70 years suffer from Peyronie disease.
Curved penis and risk of carcinogenesis?
It has been established by a number of research studies that Peyronie’s disease runs in families and some of those faulty genes may play a vital role in the carcinogenesis. For example, a protein-coding gene, WNT2 that is strongly linked to the pathogenesis of Peyronie’s disease is also involved in the formation of certain cancers.
Researchers from Baylor College in Houston, TX, conducted thorough study to analyze the association and presented their findings on October 31st at the annual meeting of American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The results of their study were also published in the peer-reviewed Fertility and Sterility journal.
Details of the Study:
As part of the study, Dr. Alexander Pastuszak compared the data of 484,230 healthy controls against 1,177,428 men with a history of erectile dysfunction and 48,423 with a known history of Peyronie’s disease. The average age of these men was found to be 49.8 years and was followed for a period of 4 years (or about total follow-up years of 7 million)
As part of the statistical analysis, researchers discovered that men with a known history of Peyronie’s disease have a 10% higher risk of developing cancer compared with men with a history of erectile dysfunction; this includes a variety of cancers such as:
- Risk of developing stomach cancer increases by 43%
- Risk of developing melanoma increases by 19%
- Risk of developing testicular cancer by 39%
The research team concluded that there is a genetic association between Peyronie’s disease and risk of genitourinary and stomach cancers. This could either be a response to malfunctioning of tumor suppressor genes.
More research is needed to further study this association in order to devise a careful treatment and management plan to not only address the symptoms of Peyronie’s disease but also detect the cancers at an earlier stage.
- Pastuszak, A. W., Kohn, T. P., & Eisenberg, M. (2017). Increased risk of cancer among men with Peyronie’s disease. Fertility and Sterility, 108(3), e39.
- Nehra, A., Alterowitz, R., Culkin, D. J., Faraday, M. M., Hakim, L. S., Heidelbaugh, J. J., … & Nelson, C. J. (2015). Peyronie’s disease: AUA guideline. The Journal of urology, 194(3), 745-753.
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