I spotted a pea-sized 'freckle' on my penis, months later it had to be amputated. Now I'm warning others how to avoid every man's worst nightmare

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Around 700 men each twelvemonth successful nan UK are diagnosed pinch penile cancer, and acquisition a partial aliases full penectomy, wherever their penis is removed. Craig Mycock, 54, a erstwhile autobus driver and inspector, who lives pinch his partner Colette, 55, successful Stockport, tells his story.

At nan commencement of 2020, I went to spot my GP astir problem emptying my bladder, and she referred maine to infirmary for much checks.

A master caregiver who examined my bladder [using a bladed conduit pinch a camera attached] commented connected a pea-sized 'freckle' connected nan caput of my penis.

I told her that it had been location for astir six months and wasn't achy aliases causing immoderate issues, but she seemed concerned and called successful a expert to get a 2nd opinion.

She was concerned too, and referred maine for further investigations. (My bladder problem was unrelated.)

Craig, a erstwhile autobus driver and inspector, is telling his communicative to pass different men astir nan signs of penile cancer

Two weeks later I was astatine The Christie infirmary successful Manchester, wherever a advisor urologist explained that it could beryllium a motion of penile cancer. Just proceeding this was very mortifying and worrying.

I had a biopsy — they injected section anaesthetic into nan extremity of my penis and took a mini sample of insubstantial for analysis. The process took astir 20 minutes and was arsenic atrocious arsenic it sounds.

Two weeks later I went backmost for nan results. I was told it was an aggressive, fast-growing crab and they'd request to region portion of my penis — leaving capable truthful it could beryllium rebuilt utilizing insubstantial from my thigh.

I was perfectly stunned by this atrocious news. I retrieve sitting successful my car connected my ain aft nan assignment trying to return it each in. I cried; it seemed truthful overwhelming.

When I went backmost to infirmary to person nan room successful March, a period aft nan biopsy, nan crab seemed to person dispersed — nan full extremity of my penis had go scabby and somewhat misshapen. Deep down I had worried it had spread.

Because nan crab was truthful aggressive, it was decided that Craig's full penis would request to beryllium removed. Radiotherapy aliases chemotherapy would not beryllium effective against it

It meant nan planned cognition was cancelled and I had a 2nd biopsy alternatively — this showed nan crab had dispersed wrong nan shaft but luckily it had not affected nan lymph nodes successful my groin.

Because nan crab was truthful aggressive, it was decided that my full penis would request to beryllium removed. Radiotherapy aliases chemotherapy would not beryllium effective against it.

I was devastated: it's each man's worst nightmare; conscionable nan thought of a surgeon cutting into my penis made maine want to squirm, and I felt queasy moreover reasoning astir it.

I felt ashamed; I blamed myself, though I'd done thing to origin it, my advisor said, sadly it was 1 of those things successful life that tin hap to anyone.

But I was successful a acheronian place, asking myself a cardinal and 1 questions astir why it had happened to me.

Craig says if his communicative tin thief 1 different man to debar what he has gone through, he'd beryllium perfectly delighted

I was terrified astir having nan cognition arsenic it would alteration everything, from peeing for illustration astir men, to ending a intersexual narration pinch Colette, my partner of 33 years.

I felt it would make maine little masculine. But Colette would ever reassure me; she told maine she still loved maine whatever.

On nan time of my cognition successful May 2020, mid-lockdown, I had to spell to infirmary connected my own. I was dreading what it would beryllium for illustration 'down there' erstwhile I woke up. All of my penis was going to beryllium removed, but my testicles would stay intact [these nutrient testosterone, and if they're removed, nan diligent has to spell connected hormone replacement therapy: they are only removed if nan crab has spread].

Afterwards, I woke up pinch a elastic conduit inserted into nan area wherever my penis had been, pinch a pat connected nan end, which I could unfastened to pee. It was humiliating and I hated utilizing it, arsenic it was a changeless reminder of what had happened to me.

Otherwise, nan area conscionable felt numb. But I felt incomplete, arsenic if they had removed my masculinity. In fact, from that moment, I don't interact pinch that portion of my body.

I support nan area cleanable and lavation it, but I don't look astatine it aliases consciousness astir that area; I really can't carnivore to look astatine it, moreover successful a mirror. I'm conscionable scared.

Thankfully they managed to region nan tumour and location were nary signs it had spread.

I was capable to spell location aft 2 days and, astir 2 weeks later, nan conduit was removed [he now passes urine by sitting down connected nan loo to urinate via an opening betwixt nan anus and testicles], but I suffered a bad urinary infection and needed intravenous antibiotics successful hospital.

While backmost successful infirmary recovering from this infection, my expert asked if she could bring student doctors successful to spot me, arsenic a penectomy is truthful rare. It made maine consciousness a spot for illustration a circus freak, but I understood why it was useful for them to see.

Covid was still affecting everything, truthful I self-isolated: I became very depressed — by that August, I was successful a really bad spot and tried to extremity my life pinch an overdose.

Luckily, Colette came location successful clip and called an ambulance.

A batch of my feelings astatine nan clip were mixed pinch pain, but besides a consciousness of shame successful having this peculiar cancer. I was later diagnosed pinch post-traumatic accent upset (PTSD).

I had one-to-one sessions pinch a intelligence wellness caregiver and later group sessions pinch different crab patients astatine The Christie, wherever we each shared our different experiences of nan disease.

Although I person ne'er met different personification pinch penile cancer, we could stock communal ways which helped america to cope.

Though successful immoderate ways I wish I'd had lung crab arsenic group ever cognize personification who's had that: penile crab is truthful isolating arsenic it's truthful rare.

While I person learnt to adapt, I americium nary longer for illustration a normal man immoderate more.

Four years on, I still spell to nan bath to undress truthful Colette doesn't spot maine naked — moreover though she says she's not bothered by it and she loves maine for who I am.

We tin nary longer person friendly relations astatine all, which is hard, but I conscionable person had to judge that it's not portion of my life immoderate more.

I person six monthly checks wherever my testicles and lymph nodes are scanned to cheque nan crab hasn't travel back.

I still suffer pinch predominant urinary infections, which require antibiotics, and besides person ongoing nervus symptom astir wherever my penis was, truthful I request to return symptom alleviation time and nighttime (paracetamol aliases co-codamol and different medicine to dampen nan nervus messages being sent to my brain).

I person bully and bad days — I effort to spot nan funny side: I was told my penis was flown location for aesculapian investigation and my joke is that's clocked up much aerial miles than I have!

Sadly it's still nan lawsuit that men are embarrassed to inquire a expert to look astatine a spot aliases mark, particularly erstwhile it's 'down there' - I'd emotion to spot men talk much openly astir this and not consciousness ashamed to spot their expert if they are worried astir their penis. Even if my communicative tin thief 1 different man to debar what I person gone through, I'd beryllium perfectly delighted.

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