[Question #6072] Penis frenulum injury or cancer ?

18 months ago

I am a 31 years old man, from Canada, gay, in an exclusive relationship with the same man for 18 months now. We are both tested negative for STDs, excepted he has undetectable HIV and I am on PreP and checked every 3 months to ease my mind.

My question is a bit left field. I know I am on a STD forum, but I am unsure and afraid, so I take a chance.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a small bubbled injury on my penis frenulum. It actually looks like a blood blister, it's 2mm diameter, it's red but seems to turn darker (blue/purple) over time. But it's hard to say because it's a slow process. It's looks like a small bubble that literally popped out of the penis frenulum line. It might have got a little bigger over the last week, but again, it's hard to say. The blister is "isolated", clean, soft and restricted to its bubble. No weird texture and nothing around seems abnormal either.

FYI : my boyfriend and I are sexually very active together and we also masturbate quite often on our side. When I noticed that blister, I remember I masturbated 2-3 times a week earlier and had a discomfort for a couple of hours close to the region the blister appeared afterward. That day, I masturbated 2-3 times and the last time was unpleasant and hurt for a couple of hours. Since that time, I never felt sore where the blister remains, but I am still very unsure those 2 events are related. 

I have no other sign of health issue on my penis, I have good hygiene and I am uncut.

That being said, I am mostly concerned and afraid of penile cancer. I read a bit about it, but there's not much info and pictures out there. My questions are :

- Based on my details, what are the odds I have penile cancer (31 years old, Canada);
- If it's not penile cancer, what could it be ?
- If it's only a blood blister, how long would it take to recover on its own ? It's already been 6-8 weeks now and it seems quite "stable".
- Should I go and see my doctor asap ?

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
18 months ago
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your question. However, you correctly understand the focus of this forum:  we deal exclusively with STDs, not with non-STD genital problems or their diagnosis. So my reply is brief.

There is nothing in your description that suggests anything other than a traumatic injurry, perhaps now with delayed healing due to repeated manipulation during sex or masturbation. If an STD is involved, the only realistic possibility is genital herpes, but tha seems quite unlikely. "Blood blisters" are traumatic lesions -- I suppose it could have started that way, but can't say more without direct examination. Based on your description, I see no reason at all to suspect penile cancer. That can cause a non-healing sore, but it's just too coincidental that yours is in a spot especially susceptible to injury. My advice is to lay off all physical contact with it for a week or two. (I'm sure you can manage this either by abstaining or by care during sex or masturbation). If it persists nevertheless, see a physician. There is no need to do so "ASAP"; in fact, seeing a doctor when the lesion has been repeatedly subjected to minor trauma probably wouldn't help much -- even with direct examination, it might be difficult to accurately judge the cause.

Those comments address your specific questions and I hope they are helpful. Sorry I can't do more, but let me know if anything isn't clear.