A reminder from Melanoma UK that protecting all your body matters, including genital areas if your lifestyle brings sun exposure.
Exposure doesn’t need to be literal, genital skin cancer has occurred in lifeguards, athletes and others who spent time in the sun wearing non protective items. If life requires, worth considering UPF clothing, which can include swimwear and sports wear.
Skin cancer affecting the genitals is rare but can occur due to UV rays, or more often be associated with viral infection, or skin conditions which increase risk. You may see non healing red areas, or sores, pigment changes, moles, warts, or other lesions.
Any of these symptoms need to be investigated promptly by a specialist. Treatment is effective and in a good percentage of cases non invasive but for such an important part of the body, delay is not a good option.
Consultation & Investigation
Consultants at our London genital skin cancer clinic can provide a thorough, confidential assessment. Through their experience, the benefits of a multidisciplinary team and by using the latest diagnostic equipment.
Techniques such as confocal laser microscopy often avoid the need for a biopsy but one may be taken for analysis by our lab, or other tests be carried out if required. Your medical history and current symptoms will be thoroughly discussed.
We naturally need to know the nature of a problem and any penetration into other areas of the body. This is not common in early stage cases, in depth diagnosis is simply there to ensure our patients receive optimal treatment.
Penile Cancer Treatment
In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, you may see skin thickening, a discharge, or bleeding, or other fresh growths. Although in the majority of cases, penile skin cancer is quite painless.
This should not be taken as an indication of the problem being minor and likely to go away. Prompt action is valuable for all forms of skin cancer and in early penile cancer, this is particularly the case.
Treatment is however effective and in most ways, similar to treating skin cancer on other areas of the body, using a range of surgical, or non surgical approaches.
For early stage skin cancers, non invasive treatments such as laser surgery, photodynamic therapy, even specialist creams can bring a permanent cure. More serious issues are also able to be effectively treated.
Where surgery is needed, Mohs surgery is the most advanced form of skin cancer surgery. Often helpful in genital skin cancer, where conservation of healthy tissue is so important for cosmetic and functional reasons.
Vulval Cancer Treatment
Vulval skin cancer can occur on any part of the female external genitals, most often on the inner edges of the labia. The condition is more common in later years and may follow other infections, such as lichen sclerosus, or lichen planus.
Again, treatment for vulval skin cancer follows the path of many other types, according to seriousness. Laser surgery, photodynamic therapy, or specialist surgery are proven options.
The right diagnosis and a matching treatment plan is the key. In suspected cases of vulval skin cancer, we are more likely to carry out a biopsy and subject to histological findings, ensure you are seen by the right specialist.
Alongside a complete cure, our focus will be on aesthetic and functional aspects, with minimal invasion. We want your life to be as nature intended.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
We would like to dispel a myth, genital skin cancer is not transmissible. One triggering factor can be and that is the Human Papilloma Virus.
Our clinic offers HPV vaccination to all ages, male and female. We would encourage people to attend, to prevent their infection, perhaps infection of others they know and the unwanted symptoms HPV can bring.
Beyond the direct symptoms, HPV also increases the likelihood of genital cancer, both penile and vulval. Protecting yourself against one disease, can help prevent a need for skin cancer treatment in the future.
Forward Looking Care
Whether through HPV, or other causes, you shouldn’t worry too much if you have genital cancer symptoms. They may not be as they seem and if they are, 21st century treatment will solve most problems.
This includes common skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma, or rarer conditions which can affect the genitals, such as extramammary paget disease. Diagnosis and treatment across conditions have advanced in recent years.
You are welcome to get in touch with our London centre for genital skin cancer treatment, for wider advice, or individual support.
You may find the options below useful:
- Save time with an intuitive search on: Skin Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment.
- Up to date news, research and insights: Our Dedicated Skin Cancer Blog.
For any advice, or to arrange a dermatology appointment, call 020 8441 1043, or send an email via the Make An Appointment button below.