Have you ever been told something and wish you could un-hear it?
It's happened to all of us. Someone tells you something that you need to hear, and you just wish that you didn't have to hear it. For me, it was 2/13/09. That's the day we were told my mom's breast cancer had comeback, and it was pissed. Doctors had done a pet scan on the 12th and it was clear. On the 13th, they did another and her liver was black with cancer. It was, of course, terminal. Mom opted to forgo the chemo/radiation this time as the doctors said they could only give her a few weeks, at best. She decided to go home. Mom died 5 days later, on 2/18/09.
Now, I realize this is a depressing start to an article. And, I assure you, I'm doing it for a reason. And it has to do with my moms cancer.
After she died, I got to wondering about certain aspects of cancer. It seems we only hear about a few types. But I asked myself a question. And that is the question I am answering for all of you, because none of you realize just how odd I am yet.
My question was: Can you get cancer of the penis and clitoris?
Short answer: Not at the same time.
And, that my friends, is where the good news about this subject ends.
I was brought up as a gentleman, so, ladies first.
Ladies are susceptible to a form of cancer called Vulvar Cancer. The vulva, for those of you who skipped health class, is the outer part of the vagina, and it includes the labia, (minora and majora), the vaginal opening and the clitoris.
Multiple types of cancers can affect the vulva, and they include an adenocarcinoma, (albeit a very rare one), that will directly affect the clitoris. Most experts believe this form of cancer is caused by HPV. That means, technically, cancer can be a sexually transmitted disease.
Fear not, though, ladies. Clitoral cancer accounts for less than 1% of all vulvar cancers.
And now, I get to pick on the men.
Most men, even young boys, are very protective of their genitals. We have good reason. The most sensitive part of our bodies is suspended between our thighs. We learn at a very young age to protect them, or face an intense pain a woman wont experience until child birth. This is the reason guys flinch when watching Americas Funniest Home Videos.
While testicular cancer is bad, treatment usually involves the removal of one or both testicles, That's not the type of cancer I'm going to talk about today. No, I'm going to discuss penile cancer. Cancer of the Penis.
Now, before you start freaking out, it's considered a very rare form of cancer in developed countries. In the US, only 1 out of every 4,500 male cancers are penile cancer. In some under developed countries, it's closer to 10%.
With clitoral cancer, experts think penile cancer is caused by HPV. Part of their reasoning is, men who were circumcised as babies are far less likely to contract it. This is because smegma, (a white, cheese-like substance), grows under the foreskin, and if personal hygiene is lacking, it can cause irritation allowing HPV to infiltrate and possibly cause cancer.
And if you're one of the few men who suffer from the condition Phimosis, your odds of contracting penile cancer are greater. (phimosis is a condition where the foreskin can not be fully retracted past the head of the penis. this make proper hygiene harder)
Now, like I said earlier, both clitoral and penile cancer are very rare. So, your chances of contracting either are extremely rare. And I guarantee you will not get them at the same time.
Hey.....I promised these posts would be odd and informative and entertaining. I never promised they would be all of them at the same time. I only promised they'd be interesting.