After receiving misdiagnoses, British soldier Gavin Brooks, 45, was diagnosed with penile cancer. The advanced stage of the disease forced doctors to amputate part of the limb to remove the tumor. Months later, they discovered the cancer had spread to other parts of the body and gave the patient a year to live.
“Had I been diagnosed earlier, I could have had a circumcision that would have avoided the rest of the operations and chemotherapy,” Gavin believes.
In an interview with the British newspaper Daily Mail, the Englishman said he turned to the doctor in 2021, after feeling a ring of skin around the foreskin – the fold that covers the glans of the penis – and noticing an injury to the tip. of the penis organ.
“The skin that connects the foreskin to the penis cracked, bled and hurt when I peed. I knew it wasn’t normal and that I needed to get checked out,” she recalls.
The first doctor diagnosed the lesion as a genital wart, but Gavin wasn’t convinced and sought other opinions. “I didn’t know how I could get a genital wart, as I’d been married for 20 years and only had one sexual partner at the time, so I didn’t think they were right,” he says.
The second doctor suggested that the soldier may have male candidiasis and prescribed ointment treatment. With no improvement, Gavin sought help at a sexual health clinic, where a dermatologist took a biopsy and eventually got the correct result: The soldier had penile cancer.
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Gavin finally had surgery in January 2022 to remove the tumor. Together with him, the surgeons also had to remove part of his penis. Frightened by the result, the patient began calling his penis Frankenweiner. The word is a cross between Frankenstein and sausage, in English.
“They lifted my penis and cut it in half. They took a skin graft from my leg to remake the head of my penis, but it’s just straight, with a hole at the end. When I woke up in the hospital, I was amazed at how much had been removed,” she recalls.
New tests showed the cancer had spread and the patient had to undergo another operation in April to remove lymph nodes in his groin and subsequently undergo intensive chemotherapy treatment.
However, doctors reported that the disease continued to advance, spreading to other areas of the body. They warned that Gavin may only have a year left to live.
The Englishman is the father of two sons – Camren, 15, and Jorje, 10 – and has spent most of his life in the army as a physical training instructor. Difficulty walking after cancer treatment meant he used a wheelchair for most of his day.
Now, Gavin is looking for new treatment options outside of England that could increase his life expectancy. “So I can stay as long as possible,” he says.
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