Why do men get papillomas on the penis and how are they treated?

Papillomas are bulging formations that appear on a person's skin and mucous membranes. They are not actually a disease, but only serve as an external manifestation of the body's infection with HPV - the human papilloma virus.

Papilloma virus exists in many different strains, some of which are dangerous because neoplasms have the property of malignant transformation, ie they can turn into malignant tumors.

Reasons for the appearance of papillomas on the penis

male reproductive system and penile papillomas

Papillomas are benign formations on the skin or mucous membranes of a warty nature.

The human papilloma virus is transmitted in many ways, from a sick person to a healthy one. The main method is sexual, with unprotected intercourse. But you can also "get" the virus at home, in contact with the carrier, if there is damage to the integrity of the body or mucous membranes, through blood and other fluids infected with the virus.

It is quite difficult to completely "exterminate" a virus that has already entered the body, but in about 90% of cases there is a self-healing, ie the immune system itself "kills" the virus. However, in some cases, the disease takes on a recurrent nature and can last for years.

A special danger is posed by strains that have the ability of malignancy, ie the transformation of a neoplasm into a malignant one.

HPV has a long incubation period, with strong immunity, and can last from a month to a year.

But when the immune system weakens, it will be felt immediately. Symptoms of its presence are formations on the body and mucous membranes that can have a round, oval or oblong shape and vary in size, from a few millimeters to a few centimeters.

More than 600 strains of the virus are known to medicine, of which more than 40 are capable of causing neoplasms in the genital and anal region in men and women. They are the ones that cause papillomas on the penis, which are called genital warts.

Some of the papillomas are harmless to human health, others can cause an unpleasant cosmetic defect - warts, and others threaten the body with the most dangerous disease - cancer. There is medical evidence between cervical cancer and breast cancer that develops with infection with certain HPV strains.

If the virus that can cause papillomas on the genitals enters the body, then the main route of its entry is considered sexual. Particularly dangerous are promiscuous relationships, bisexual and homosexual contacts. But the virus can be congenital - the fetus becomes infected when it passes through the birth canal of an infected mother. The risk of infection on skin lesions also exists when going to the pool, public toilet, bathroom, sauna, gym, during depilation, shaving.

Signs and symptoms of the disease

groin pain with papillomas on the penis

Symptoms depend on the location, number and size of the papilloma.

Most often, papillomas on the penis affect the head of the organ, "settle" along the foreskin, form colonies on the bridle, and can even penetrate the urethra.

With strong proliferation of papillomas take the form of "cauliflower", during intercourse, urination can be injured, injured, and even bleed.

Since this is a viral disease, the period of activation of papilloma growth is accompanied by a strong decrease in immunity. The person feels weak, lethargic, body temperature may rise, most often remaining at subfebrile levels (37 - 37, 5 ° C). Because immunity is reduced, an infected person can easily catch a cold and "pick up" ARVI and ARI.

Papilloma proliferation can lead to phimosis - narrowing of the skin.

Due to this condition, a special lubricant - smegma - accumulates on the head of the penis. His infection can lead to the development of a dangerous disease, therefore, if even individual papillomas are found, a doctor should be consulted immediately. Individual neoplasms can be removed very quickly and almost painlessly, preventing their growth and high risk of degeneration into a malignant tumor.

Tests and examinations required

The presence of papilloma is determined by the doctor visually, but other studies are needed to clarify the strain and the degree of its risk for the patient. The patient donates blood for typing by PCR, Digene screening test, and is tested for the presence of sexually transmitted diseases, since in the vast majority of cases, HPV is "packaged" with sexually transmitted diseases.

If there is a suspicion of penetration of the papilloma into the urethra, urethroscopy is performed. The doctor may prescribe a biopsy if the growth is too large or if doctors suspect that the formation has begun to degenerate into a cancerous tumor.

Methods for treatment and removal of papillomas

visit a doctor for papillomas on the penis

It is impossible to completely remove the human papilloma virus from the body of an infected person, sometimes it remains in it for the rest of the patient's life. Anti-HPV drugs are the use of antiviral drugs and immunomodulators that stimulate a person’s own immune activity.

Basically, the doctor's actions are aimed at removing the external signs of the presence of the virus, ie the papillomas, warts and genital warts themselves.

Only in the case of carcinogenic degeneration is a complex treatment applied that includes surgery and the application of chemotherapy to eliminate the danger of tumor spread.

The following treatment methods are used to remove papillomas on the penis:

  1. Surgical removal.
  2. Electrocoagulation.
  3. Laser (neodymium or carbon dioxide) formation removal.
  4. Cryodestruction - destruction of a neoplasm with liquid nitrogen. Cryodestruction can be applied or aerosolized.
  5. Cauterization with chemicals.

In most cases, the use of these methods is sufficient to remove the papilloma and prevent its recurrence.

The method of treatment is chosen by the doctor depending on the degree of damage, the type of neoplasm, the patient's health condition and his age.

There is a specialized vaccine that is used in women to prevent the most dangerous disease - squamous cell carcinoma, or cervical cancer. It has been proven to be caused by one of the dangerous strains of human papilloma virus, since in the absence of HPV in the body this type of cancer does not occur.

Unfortunately, today there is no vaccine that can prevent infection with other types of human papillomavirus, including those that cause growths on the intimate male organs. The only effective way of protection is still the use of condoms during sexual intercourse, as well as respect for personal hygiene, careful attitude towards possible infection in public places.

Prognosis and possible complications

pain with papillomas on the penis

Doctors have come to the conclusion that in 90% of all cases of HPV infection, if a person has a strong immunity, the body copes with the virus on its own within 24 months. But this observation applies only to certain strains of human papillomavirus, which are not capable of causing cancer.

The most dangerous complication should be considered malignancy, ie the transformation of papillomas into cancer. But only a small fraction of HPV strains have such properties. Sad consequences can be prevented by early access to medical care and timely diagnosis.

In rare cases, after the removal of the papilloma, neoplasms can form on and around the scar tissue, if the virus actively multiplies in the patient's body due to weakened immunity. In such a situation, re-removal of the papilloma and comprehensive strengthening of the patient's immunity will be required to prevent further growth of the formations.

In most cases, the prognosis is positive if the disease is not too advanced. But this rarely happens with genital warts, because their development causes strong discomfort to the man and he quickly turns to doctors.