Man's genitalia 'fell off' after he ignored signs of advanced cancer
When it comes to any sort of medical qualm, it's always better to err on the side of caution and get regular check-ups than it is to ignore a potential problem and just hope that it goes away. Often, this might mean going to the doctor and having them look at something you might consider to be embarrassing or gross - but none of that will matter to them, so long as they get you the help you need.
Unfortunately, not everyone sees it this way. Indeed, some people would rather keep their lumps, bumps and warts all to themselves rather than have them checked out by a stranger - and, sometimes - this can lead to dire consequences.
Just this month, it was reported that one man in India lost his entire penis after ignoring the symptoms of cancer for about a year.
According to the British Medical Journal, an 82-year-old man was admitted to hospital "with complaints of the wound in right inguinal region for the last 15 days". At first, he was sent to a primary care clinic where he informed doctors that he had been experiencing pain in an ulcer that had developed on his penis a whole 12 months earlier, and that he had ignored it up until that point.
The man also gave details about "swelling" and "sloughing" (shedding) around his genital region that he'd been experiencing for a number of months. This prompted doctors to drain the pus-filled area and prescribe him with antibiotics in order to clear up any remaining infection.
Unfortunately, the treatment did not help, and the man returned two weeks later after the ulcer had caused his entire penis to fall off.
"Clinical examination revealed almost complete loss of phallus,” Dr Gaurav Garg, from King George’s Medical University in India, reported. "There was evidence of abscess in right inguinal region and hard matted nodes palpable in the left inguinal region. Metastatic workup revealed evidence of distant metastases. Biopsy from the base of residual penile stump revealed squamous cell carcinoma."
For those that don't speak doctor, this essentially translates to: he had an abscess on the right side of his groin, and hard lumps on the left. Further examination revealed that he had skin cancer.
Unfortunately, the cancer had progressed too far for the doctors to do anything by that point, and the man passed away just 15 days later.
Dr Garg was careful to note that this incident was incredibly rare, and that auto-amputation of the penis (or, indeed, any body part) due to cancer is usually as a result of neglecting to seek medical help.
"In the present case, the patient neglected his initial symptoms and eventually developed penile auto-amputation, inguinal abscess and widespread metastasis," he said. "Auto-amputation of the penis due to carcinoma penis is very rarely reported in the literature."
This story should serve as a warning to anyone who is worried about an ulcer or any other sort of growth on any part of their body. It's always better to be safe than sorry.