A father of two children was forced to amputate his penis after a "harmless rash" turned out to be a rare form of cancer.
Neil Walker, 54, of Bristol, realized that something was wrong when the discoloration of his genitals did not fade. After being told there was nothing to worry about and he prescribed a steroid cream for his GP, Mr. Walker insisted that more tests be done.
He was finally diagnosed with penile cancer in September 2014 and underwent an operation to amputate the tip of his genitals. However, when the cancer returned a few years later, he had to remove the entire organ.
Due to the spread of the cancer, the lymph nodes in his groin also had to be eliminated. This left Mr. Walker with a severely weak immune system that saw him at the "death gate" while fighting sepsis four times in just one year.
Now recovered, Mr. Walker, who urinates out of a "makeshift hole" behind his testicles, said: "I have left feeling completely unmasculinized and I know that if I had contracted cancer before, I would still have my manhood."
The father of two children, Neil Walker, 54, was forced to amputate his penis after a "harmless rash" turned out to be a rare form of cancer. First he realized that something was wrong when the discoloration on his genitals was not fading. He also sees his wife Amanda, 48
Speaking of his first symptoms, Mr. Walker said: "I noticed a rash on the head of my penis and at first the doctors gave me steroid cream since nobody thought it was something too serious.
"It was not until I came back a month after they sent me to the hospital and they told me it was penile cancer.
& # 39; As soon as they told me I was surprised, because I thought it was just a rash, but suddenly I was entering a battle against cancer.
"I did not even click on my head that I would need amputations and eventually lose my penis."
He was diagnosed with penile cancer in September 2014 and had an operation to amputate the tip of his genitals. However, when the cancer returned, he had to remove the entire organ.
Mr. Walker (pictured when he was younger and a firefighter) states that if he had been diagnosed before he could still have his "manhood". Instead, doctors ruled out his rash and prescribed a steroid cream. He is talking to raise awareness about the symptoms of penile cancer
WHAT IS PENIS CANCER?
Penile cancer can develop anywhere on the penis, but is more common at the tip or under the foreskin in uncircumcised men.
It is more common in men over 50 who smoke or are infected with HPV.
Penile cancer is rare and accounts for less than one percent of all new forms of the disease each year in the United Kingdom and the United States.
More than 90 percent of men whose cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes are still alive five years after their diagnosis.
Symptoms include growth or pain in the penis that does not heal in a month. This may resemble a wart or ulcer and may be painless.
Bleeding from the penis, a smelly discharge, rash, difficulty in retracting the foreskin and discoloration are also signs of the disease.
Treatment depends on how advanced the cancer is, as well as whether it has spread and the general health of the patient.
Surgery to remove part or all of the penis is the most common treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be necessary.
Source: Cancer Research UK
Just three months after being diagnosed, Mr. Walker underwent his first surgery to remove the tip of his penis. The doctors managed to recreate the head of their genitals by means of a skin graft from their leg.
Mr. Walker said: "When I had the first amputation, I was not so sad because they managed to recreate the head of my penis with the skin of my leg."
Despite his optimism, the tests revealed that the cancer had entered the lymph nodes in his groin, forcing him to undergo a new attack with the knife to remove them.
Mr. Walker, who is married to his wife Amanda, 48, said: "This left me with nothing to fight infection from the waist down, so I started contracting sepsis four times a year and constantly in the door of death.
"Then, after thinking I was fine and recovering completely, I noticed another rash on the penis in August of 2017 and I knew that the cancer had returned.
"At this time, I also lost my sight in both eyes due to thrombolysis, which has caused complications with my additional cancer treatment.
"In March of this year, after more biopsies, I had to amputate my entire penis and now urinate out of a makeshift hole behind my testicles."
Due to the spread of the cancer, Mr. Walker also had to remove the lymph nodes in his groin. This left him with a severely weak immune system and at the "death gate" while he fought sepsis four times in just one year. Now urinate out of a "change hole" behind your testicles
Now that he has overcome the ordeal, Mr. Walker is speaking to raise awareness about the symptoms of penile cancer.
Mr. Walker, a former firefighter, said: "With something like this, it is better to be safe than to repent and always be examined.
"I know it can be embarrassing to go to the doctor's clinic and show them something so intimate, but it could be the difference between saving or losing your genitals.
"If I had seen a specialist faster, there could be a chance I would not have lost my penis.
"And although it makes me feel very embarrassed and less man, I hope my story can prevent someone else from going through what I have."