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A dad-of-two has spoken for the first time about having his entire manhood amputated after a 'harmless rash' was diagnosed as a rare form of cancer.
Neil Walker, 54, was diagnosed with penile cancer in September 2014 after a discolouration wasn't healing.
After initially being given steroid cream by doctors, Neil became concerned and demanded further tests.
The former firefighter was then diagnosed with penile cancer, and needed the top of his penis amputated and re-created with skin from his leg.
However, after the cancer returned last August, Neil underwent a full amputation in March this year and has since been adapting to life without his member.
Neil, from Bristol, is now sharing his story in order to raise awareness for the rare form of cancer.
Neil said: "I noticed a rash on the head of my penis and I was given steroid cream by doctors at first as no one thought it was anything too serious. It wasn't until I returned again a month later that I was referred to the hospital and was told it was penile cancer.
"As soon as they told me I was shocked, because I thought it was just a rash but suddenly I was entering a battle with cancer. It didn't even click in my head that I'd need amputations and would eventually lose my penis.
"Now I have been left feeling completely de-masculinised, I feel like how a woman must feel, and I know that if I had caught the cancer sooner, I'd still have my manhood."
Only three months after receiving his diagnosis, Neil had the first amputation of his penis. Then two months later, he had to have the lymph nodes in his groin removed - causing several complications to his health.
He said: "When I had the first amputation, I wasn't as saddened because they managed to recreate the head of my penis with skin from my leg.
"Once I'd had the skin graft, they found out that the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in my groin, so I had to have those removed in January 2015.
"This left me with nothing to fight off infection from the waist down, so I began contracting sepsis four times a year and constantly being on death's door.
"Then, after thinking I was doing ok and completely on the mend, I noticed another rash on my penis in August 2017 and I knew the cancer had returned.
"In this time, I also lost my eyesight in both eyes because of thrombolysis - which has caused complications with my further cancer treatment.
"In March this year, after more biopsies, I had to have my entire penis amputated and I now urinate out of a make-shift hole behind my testicles."
Despite being through health hell, Neil is now sharing his story in order to raise awareness to the signs of penile cancer and what to look out for.
He said: "With something like this, it's better to be safe than sorry and always get checked out. I know it can be embarrassing to go to the doctor's clinic and show them something so intimate, but it could be the difference between saving or losing your genitals.
"If I had seen a specialist faster, there could have been a chance that I wouldn't have lost my penis. And although it makes me feel very embarrassed and less of a man, I hope that my story can stop someone else from going through what I have."
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