What is Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Penis?Basal cell carcinoma mainly occurs in the head and neck and very rarely develops in the penis. It is a rare type of cancer that results from the uncontrolled division or multiplication of round cells found in the lower part of the outer layer of the skin, which makes up approximately 0.03% of all basal cell carcinomas. It is a low-grade tumor that grows slowly and does not spread to the other distant parts of the body.
Disease CausesThere is no well-known cause, however certain hereditary and genetic mutations along with the exposure to certain risk factors such as current or past infection with Human papillomavirus (HPV), HIV infection, history of having any other sexually transmitted disease, older age, history of cigarette smoking, weak immunity and having uncircumcised penis can contribute to the development of penile basal cell carcinoma.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Changes in the color or thickness of the skin of the penis
- Itching on the affected part
- Mass or lump under the skin of the penis
- Foul-smelling discharge from the penis
- Ulcer on the skin of the penis
- Bleeding from the penis
- In advanced cases of the penile basal cell carcinoma patient may suffer from constant fever, unexplained weight loss, and excessive sweating at night
- Physical examination of the penis along with the whole genital area to see the type and extent of the tumor
- Imaging tests with the help of ultrasonography (USG), CT-scan, PET-scan, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to see the size, site, and extent of the tumor cells.
- Serological test for HIV (Human immuno deficiency virus), Human papilloma virus (HPV), and sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s)
- Tumor biopsy (a biopsy is a procedure in which a piece of tumor tissue is taken for laboratory analysis to determine the type of cells, cancerous or non-carcinogenic).