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A dad joked his penis looked like "Frankenstein's face" after what he thought was an STI turned out to be more deadly.
James Garfield, from Somerset, was left mortified when he noticed a small red pimple on the shaft of his manhood.
Soon after it pimple developed into a 1p-sized patch of itchy, oozing skin.
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He feared he might have picked up an STI from a toilet seat, so visited a sexual health clinic for some answers.
But a doctor then revealed he was "90% sure" it could be cancer.
The 48-year-old said: "It was such a relief that it wasn't an STI.
"I'd spent time researching because it wasn't something I'd picked up in the traditional way as I'm married."
James, who previously suffered with a tight foreskin condition called phimosis, underwent circumcision in March 2020.
A growth was removed, then a biopsy had been taken, before he received chemo cream to apply on the area.
The warehouse operative continued with his life as normal until, in December 2022, he started feeling lethargic.
He began suffering from a pain in his groin then noticed discolouration on his penis so went back to his GP.
"I was feeling really down, really low on energy and I had this pain in my hip and groin area," James added.
"I had this nagging thought in my head, 'Has something not been picked up on? Am I going to die of cancer now?'."
A second biopsy last January revealed James had penile intraepithelial neoplasia (PeIN), a rare, pre-cancerous disease on the outer skin layer.
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James added: "My wife was upset, while I was quite blasé about it.
"I was fast-tracked because it's a rare cancer and I'm under 50.
"I was told that it was a quick-moving cancer but it was operable.
"There was no feeling of dread. Death doesn't frighten me – when I'm dead I'm dead."
In April, James had a glansectomy, a procedure that removes tissue containing cancerous cells, and had a skin graft from his thigh attached to the area.
Six weeks on, he, called it a "miracle" that he managed to heal so well.
But the dad joked when he first saw his penis it looked like "Frankenstein's face".
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He admitted: "I didn't know whether to call it Leatherface. But now it's healed, it's like a miracle."
James now faces an anxious wait to see if the cancer has spread into his lymph nodes and if further surgery is required.
The dad-of-four is sharing his ordeal to encourage blokes to regularly check themselves.
He concluded: "As soon as you get past what it is [penis cancer] and what it means to a man – virility and stuff like that – it's just a body part.
"The healthcare I've been given has been absolutely tremendous and speedy.
"My advice to blokes is, if you find something that you don't think is right, get it checked out.
"If you're not happy with what you've been told, get it checked out again."
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