The doctors discovered that he had an aggressive form of late-stage bladder cancer.
Apparently, the man had been told three years earlier that he had cancer, but he didn’t want to carry around a urine bag, so he never got treatment. It finally caught up with him. The cancerous tumors were now blocking the blood vessels in the man’s penis, causing the long-term erection.
Did he think the cancer would just go away if he ignored it? It’s not clear.
A tough decision
At Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, the head of urology knew immediately what he had to do. Doctor Wang Hung-jen and his team of surgeons cut into the man’s penis in order to drain the blood and relieve the pressure in the engorged penis.
But unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. The cancer had spread too far and the surgeons had to amputate part of his penis to keep the disease from spreading. The man also had to have chemotherapy.
As for whether the man will ever be able to have sex again, the doctors aren’t sure yet. “He isn’t married and didn’t request an evaluation of potential sexual function,” says Dr. Wang. “Right now the priority is to save his life.”
Even if he ends up with lifelong erectile dysfunction, maybe there is a happy ending after all: the man gets to live another day.
As the ads for certain erectile dysfunction drugs—like Viagra—warn, men should see a doctor if their erection lasts longer than four hours. An erection lasting more than 72 hours can lead to lifelong erectile dysfunction, so it’s nothing to brag about.