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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is phimosis?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3


    Prof Brian Morris

    HealthShare Member

    Phimosis is constriction of the opening at the end of the foreskin so that urine flow is impeded. Phimosis results in an inability to retract the foreskin over the head of the penis in order to urinate.
    Phimosis increases the risk of penile cancer by 12-fold.
    Penile cancer affects 1 in 1,000 uncircumcised men over their lifetime. It is a particularly lethal cancer.
    For more about phimosis and penile cancer read:
    The strong protective effect of circumcision against cancer of the penis.
    Advances in Urology 2011; article ID 812368 (21 pages)

    Prof. Brian Morris
    School of Medical Sciences
    University of Sydney

  • 3


    Serene Johnson

    Registered Nurse

    Phimosis is the state of narrowing of the foreskin so it cannot be retracted. It can be physiological -ie, that of a newborn and pre-pubescent male and perfectly normal. Or it can be pathological, where the previously retractile foreskin can nolonger be retracted. It is easily treated with topical application of betamethasone 1% creme and gentle stretching exercises. Circumcision is not necessary.

    Penile cancer is at higher risk for men with phimosis, however penile cancer occurs in less than 1 in 100 000 men (European Association of Urology), and according to the Cancer Council, factors such as smoking, alcohol intake and STI are far more important than the foreskin's presence or absence when determining risk of penile cancer. 

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