What is Orchid doing?
Raising awareness of penile cancer is very difficult as some men do not know that cancer can affect the penis and very few men will talk openly about the condition. Orchid has therefore created an informative Z-card which combines some fun and humorous facts on penile health in general as well highlighting the common signs and symptoms.
This Z-card is distributed to health care professionals all over the country including local hospitals and Macmillan Information Offices as well as Orchid Roadshows and awareness events.
Orchid has produced a comprehensive range of penile cancer booklets and information for men who have been diagnosed or who are being treated for penile cancer.
Penile cancer is very rare and often many healthcare professionals such as GPs may never have encountered the condition during their entire careers. This can sometimes lead to penile cancer being treated inappropriately leading to a delay in diagnosis.Orchid are in the process of developing a GP e-learning tool for use by every GP in the country which explains more about the disease and how to refer men appropriately to a urologist for further investigation if a penile condition has not improved with treatment after two weeks.
Orchid provides a National Male Cancer Telephone Helpline for anyone worried or affected by male cancer. This is a free service and is staffed by Orchid Male Cancer Information Nurse Specialists.
Orchid funds a molecular biology and cancer genetics programme with a focus on identifying new genes associated with prostate and testicular tumour development and progression. It also funds the Orchid Tissue Bank, a collection of male cancer histopathology (cancerous tissue). The Tissue Bank has one of the largest collections of penile, prostate and testicular cancer tissue in Europe. The histopathology team collaborates with other genito-urinary research groups in the UK and the world including the Trans-Atlantic Prostate Group and conducts its own research into penile, prostate and testicular cancer. The Orchid tissue bank also supports studies which examine the potential causes and factors that are important in the development of cancer including lifestyle causes, so that we can try to prevent the disease occurring in the first place.
Orchid is currently funding a clinical trial using a combined MRI and PET scan for men with cancer of the penis.
Penile cancer can spread to the lymph nodes in the groin area and these can sometimes be detected by a physical examination of the groin area. However sometimes it is difficult to diagnose if this is due to cancer. Sometimes enlarged lymph nodes can be caused by non-cancerous conditions such as infection. The easiest way of determining whether lymph nodes contain cancer or not is to take a biopsy or remove the lymph nodes with major surgery.
Orchids researchers think that a combination of an MRI and a PET scan may be able to identify cancerous lymph nodes without the need for surgery.
For more information on this trial please click here
Last reviewed 07/02/2019. Next review August 2019.