Peyronie’s Disease May Be Linked to Increased Cancer Risk
Posted on December 1, 2017
A study by Baylor College of Medicine Houston has shown that men with Peyronie’s disease have a higher risk of developing stomach, skin and testicular cancer.
Peyronie’s disease, also known as penile fibrosis, is a condition that causes fibrous scar tissue to form in the connective tissue of the penis. Men with Peyronie’s disease experience curvature of the penis, curved erections, pain and shortening of the penis.
According to the Public Library of Science’s online peer-reviewed journal PLOS One, .7 percent of American men have a Peyronie’s diagnosis.
Researchers believe that an additional 11 percent of U.S. men are living with the condition but do not have an official diagnosis. Other estimates range from 1 to 23 percent of men aged 40 to 70 having the condition.
The Baylor researchers looked for a link between Peyronie’s and cancer in the medical records of 1.5 million men.
Connections to Cancer
The files were part of the Truven Health MarketScan health insurance claims database from 2007 to 2014. Researchers measured the number of men with cancer and Peyronie’s disease against the number of men without cancer and Peyronie’s disease and found that men with Peyronie’s disease have a 40 percent greater risk of developing testicular cancer.
The total number of men with Peyronie’s was 48,423. The average age of the men was 49.8 years.
Other increased risks linked to the condition include a 19 percent higher risk of developing skin cancer and a 43 percent higher chance of developing stomach cancer. Overall, men with Peyronie’s disease had a 10 percent total greater risk of developing cancer.
The authors of the study were motivated to investigate the connection because research into the genetics of Peyronie’s disease has been growing. One gene in questions is the WNT2 gene, found in both men with Peyronie’s disease and men with some forms of cancer.
To further investigate the link between Peyronie’s and cancer, the researchers from Baylor also studied a father and son who both had a Peyronie’s disease diagnosis.
They found that not only did the men have Peyronie’s disease, but they both also had genetic markers for urological cancers, testicular cancer and stomach cancer. An additional examination into the DNA of the pair found that the men suppressed tumor suppression genes.
The study has significant implications, as many people consider Peyronie’s disease, erectile dysfunction and male reproductive health issues to be far less severe than other health conditions.
Joel Singer, M.D., is a New York physician who treats men with Peyronie’s disease, erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. He sees the need for exploring connections between the genital-urological conditions and other diseases.
“Finding new connections between some types of cancer and Peyronie’s disease means that men living Peyronie’s disease need more monitoring than their peers without Peyronie’s,” Singer said.
Singer said he frequently sees the symptoms of other conditions in his Peyronie’s patients.
“Many patients with these conditions also experience high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis and diabetes,” Singer said.
Monitoring men with Peyronie’s or connected types of cancer may help researchers develop new therapies to treat or prevent related conditions, he said.
Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes
Peyronie’s disease is not the only male urogenital condition to be connected with another health condition.
A study published in Diabetic Medicine in July 2017 showed that over 52.5 percent of men with diabetes have erectile dysfunction. Men with diabetes have a 3.62 percent greater risk of developing erectile dysfunction than their peers without the disease.
The study also found that men with type 2 diabetes had erectile dysfunction more often than those with type 1 diabetes.
Medical News Today. Curved penis may increase cancer risk. Medical News Today. 7 November 2017.