An army non-commissioned officer said he lost half his penis and believes doctors misdiagnosed a mysterious ailment in his genitals, which was actually cancer.
Now the British soldier has been told he only has a year to live.
Gavin Brooks claims that doctors, who believed he had a genital wart, left him with what he calls a “Frankenweiner” after it was mutilated during surgery.
The 45-year-old said he visited army medics three times in 2021 when he developed a “tight skin ring” and injury to his penis.
“The best way I can describe it is like a ring of tissue or tough skin inside the foreskin,” Brooks explained to Southwest News Service. “When I retracted the foreskin, I had to pass it over the head of the penis.”
The Cheshire resident said he immediately “knew this was not normal” and “had to get it checked out.”
“The skin that connects the foreskin to the penis would break and bleed and cause pain when I went to urinate,” he added.
After three weeks of pain, Brooks went to army doctors, who suggested that it might be lichen sclerosus, a disease that It causes patchy, discolored, and thin skin..
“The army doctors thought it was a wart, but I didn’t know how I got it, since I had been married for 20 years and had only one sexual partner in that time, so I didn’t think they were right. Brooks said.
Four weeks later, the vet returned to the medical center where the same doctor reportedly insisted it was just a wart. Another doctor at the army hospital thought it was “thrush”, commonly called yeast infectionaccording to Brooks, and gave him cream for treatment.
Finally, he went to a sexual health clinic where a dermatologist biopsied his penis.
Once the results came back, Brooks discovered that he had penile cancer.
Last January, Brooks underwent surgery in an attempt to cure his cancer, which resulted in the amputation of half of his penis.
“They lifted my penis and cut it in half and took a skin graft from my leg to make a penis head, but it’s flat and has a hole in it,” he said.
“I have nicknamed him the ‘Frankenweiner.’ When I woke up in the hospital, I was so scared by how much of my penis appeared to have been removed, as I had a bandage and catheter on that I couldn’t see the full extent until it was all removed.
However, his cancer had already spread, forcing him to continue with treatment.
Brooks’ first round of chemotherapy didn’t work and his cancer spread further, so he will soon undergo a second course of chemotherapy including radiation therapy.
Now, the cancer has diminished her ability to walk or travel since she has been in a wheelchair.
“I can’t walk long distances and now I use a wheelchair more than I walk,” he said. “I spent 24 years in the military and a lot of that time as a fitness instructor and I use exercise to get rid of stress, now I have to sit in a wheelchair to watch my little boy play soccer.”
Brooks has now started a campaign to raise funds for an experimental treatment abroad.
“I hope I can get some kind of treatment abroad that can help make the cancer smaller and make my life longer so I can stay as long as possible,” he said. “My son Jorje says that one day he is going to lift the World Cup and I want to be there for that.”
the army vet is also urging others check their genitals regularly for signs of cancer in hopes of saving the lives of others.
“Had I been diagnosed earlier, I may have only required a circumcision which could have prevented the rest of the operations and chemotherapy,” Brooks said. “That’s why I need to raise awareness about this rare and unknown cancer, so that more time and research can be devoted to treating and diagnosing this deadly disease before it’s too late.”