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Keep an eye on that curve! New study links penis shape to cancer risk

A recent study from the Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine suggests men with Peyronie’s disease are at an increased risk of stomach and testicular cancer.

The study conducted by the Texan university was published in the Fertility and Sterility medical journal and analysed data gathered from 1.5 million men.

The research team found that those with Peyronie’s disease – which results in an abnormal bend in the penis – had a significantly higher risk of developing several types of cancer.

More specifically, researchers noticed that men with Peyronie’s disease had a 40 per cent higher risk of testicular and stomach cancer as well as a 29 per cent higher chance of developing skin cancer.

Dr Alexander Pastuszak, a member of the research team, reported the findings this past October at the annual meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

“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 (Peyronie’s Disease) and Dupuytren’s — these fibrosing conditions — and malignancies in men,” said Dr Pastuszak.

The study also found a the strong correlation between cancer and hereditary factors that can increase a man’s vulnerability to Peyronie’s disease.

“We deep-sequenced a father and son both with PD (Peyronie’s Disease) and Dupuytren’s, and we found that this father and son had a set of genes that predispose them to both genitourinary or urologic cancers, and testis cancer is within that group, as well as stomach cancers,” Dr. Pastuszak said during the briefing.

“When we dug even deeper and compared this data set against genes that were specifically flagged in the cancer genome atlas, we found a preponderance of either suppression of tumour suppressor genes or upregulation of oncogenes.

“We found mutations in this father and son couplet in these types of genes specifically in melanoma, testis, and prostate cancer.”

Peyronie’s disease is a connective tissue disorder that involves the buildup of fibrous plaques (consisting of collagen) in the soft tissue of the penis. This results in an abnormal bend when the penis is erect and can cause pain and discomfort, especially during intercourse.

Scientists still don’t know the exact causes of the Peyronie’s, but research points out the disease may be the result of an acute injury to the penis and a mix of autoimmune deficiencies.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, six out of 100 men between the age of 40 and 70 are affected.

Although the illness is most common among men over 50, multiple cases have been reported in adults in their 30s.

Risk factors include vitamin E deficiency, certain medications such as beta-blockers, and vigorous sex or exercise that can cause microscopic injuries to the penis. The malaise is not transmittable by any means.

Now, male readers out there, if you happen to have a curved penis, don’t freak out just yet. The human body is rarely perfect nor symmetrical, and according to Medical Daily it’s fairly  common for men to have a slight bend in their shaft.

“A slight curve can be normal. There is some curvature in all penises,” said Dr. Pastuszak.

However, do not hesitate to consult a medical professional if you feel you may suffer from Peyronie’s disease or any other condition.

About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros

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