Researchers have discovered that men with bends in their penis could be at a higher risk of developing cancer.
Peyronie’s disease – a condition which causes the penis to become curved when erect – significantly increases the risk of cancer, said scientists from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
More than 1.5 million men are estimated to have the condition in the UK. It affects between five and 10 per cent of all men, according to estimates.
Men with Peyronie’s disease should be monitored for the development of cancer, the researchers urged.
Their study was the first to link the condition to an increased risk of cancer, they claimed.
“Just taking this at face value, clinically this could be interesting because nobody has ever made these associations,” Dr Alex Pastuszak told a press briefing, ahead of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s annual meeting.
“We think this is important because these conditions are largely taken for granted.
“While they are significant in the sexual and reproductive lifecycle of these patients, linking them to these other disorders suggests that these men should be monitored for development of these disorders.”
The study compared the risk of developing cancer in nearly 50,000 men that have Peyronie’s disease, with almost half a million men without the condition.
Men with Peyronie’s disease were 43 per cent more likely to develop stomach cancer, the research claimed.
They were also 39 per cent more likely to develop testicular cancer, and 10 per cent more likely to develop cancer in general.
The study also analysed men with erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction patents were more prone to obesity, smoking, hypertension and diabetes, the scientists claimed.
“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 Peyronie’s Disease and malignancies in men,” Pastuszak said, according to Reuters.
Peyronie’s disease symptoms include a curve in the penis when it’s erect, and a pain in the penis when erect.
Finding a hard lump in the shaft of the penis, or if the length or girth of the penis seems smaller, could also be a sign of Peyronie’s disease.