A young father's terminal penile cancer is threatening both his appendage and his life. Still, his life goes on as he and his fiancée are eagerly awaiting their wedding and the birth of their child.
'Rice Grain' Lump Turned Grape-Sized In Weeks
Dale Clarke first suspected that he had an infection when he began struggling to urinate properly. However, he noticed a lump on his penis the size of a grain of rice last June, and in just three short weeks, the lump had grown to the size of a grape.
Doctors first thought that 25-year-old Clarke's foreskin was too tight, so they proceeded to conduct a circumcision, but after being referred to a specialist, the true diagnosis was revealed to be an aggressive form of penile cancer. Even before he got the diagnosis, he had already researched the condition and was convinced that it was what he was experiencing. Still, the anticipation did not cushion the blow when he got the call wherein he was confirmed to have cancer.
Since then, Clarke has had five operations, nine radiotherapies, and two chemotherapy cycles. However, doctors state that his cancer is one of the most aggressive that they have seen and that it could likely turn terminal. Clarke is said to be one of the youngest individuals treated for penile cancer, and he encourages other men to see a doctor straight away if they suspect that something may be wrong.
Staying Positive And Making Memories
Clarke and his fiancée Paige King had been apparently trying to have a child but gave up when Clarke got his diagnosis. However, two months after the cancer diagnosis, the couple found out that King was pregnant and due in July.
So far, Clarke can no longer feel most parts of his penis, struggles to go to the toilet, and has accepted that his sex life had already ended. Furthermore, he states that as the cancer cells are already eating his penis away, it is likely that he will lose it soon. Still, according to Clarke, although the chemo was "hell," he would still go through it again if only to have more time with his 6-year-old son and the unborn baby girl.
"They could cut it off and it wouldn't bother me, that's how far past it I am. I know it's terminal, but I'm not planning to go anywhere for a few years," said Clarke, also stating that the most difficult part of his ordeal is the idea of leaving his children behind. Further, he plans to still enjoy his life and make memories with his fiancée and children, especially since the couple is planning to get married in Las Vegas.
According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 2,320 new cases of penile cancer diagnosis and 380 deaths from it in the United States. Penile cancer is said to be quite a rare type of cancer, which affects less than one in a hundred thousand men in the United States.
However, while penile cancer is considered rare in Europe and North America, it is quite common in Asia, South America, and Africa.