For most men the thought of going to the general physician to talk about a health problem fills them with dread.

So, when it comes to concerns about their manhood, chances are they will avoid the issue altogether.

But, that reluctance could prove life-threatening, with potentially serious symptoms being ignored, experts warn.

While sores, an unpleasant discharge and rashes on a man’s penis can be a sign ofsexually transmitted diseases, they can also indicate something much more serious.

Though rare, penile cancer is a disease men must be aware of.

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It claimed the lives of 130 men in the UK in 2014— that’s more than two a week, according to Cancer Research UK. In the United States,the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 1,168 new cases of HPV-associated penile cancers are diagnosed each year. Although penile cancer is rare, human papillomavirus (HPV) is thought to be responsible for 63 percent of the cases.

And here is why it’s so important to be aware of the signs and symptoms, for treatment can require that part of a man’s penis is removed.

And in the most serious of cases a complete penectomy— removal of the penis— is needed to give a man a chance of surviving the disease.

Mortality rates among penile cancer sufferers are relatively low, but doctors say the nature of the symptoms often mean that men delay seeking medical help until the cancer is more advanced.

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