Peyronie's Syndrome

Peyronie’s disease defies classification

Technically, Peyronie’s syndrome is not the correct way to refer to Peyronie’s disease.  Actually, calling it Peyronie’s disease is not correct, either, but more on that later.

First, the term Peyronies syndrome.   A syndrome refers to a group of several essential and clearly recognizable clinical signs, symptoms and characteristics of a health problem that often occur in association or together.  In the situation in which a syndrome occurs, the presence of one feature, sign or symptom would alert a doctor to the possibility a particular syndrome was present, so he/she would automatically look for other features, signs and symptoms that normally occur with it.  If those additional findings are detected, then  a diagnosis of that syndrome could be made.

Peyronie’s syndrome is not a valid term because the characteristic Peyronies symptoms are actually too few, and they do not usually form a tightly bound set of features that suggest this particular health problem. The few symptoms and signs associated with PD are actually vague by usual medical standards. Since there are typically only three such standard features or clues associated with Peyronie’s disease  (penis pain, distorted or curved penis, and the common Peyronie’s plaque or scar), this set of presenting characteristics is not large enough or strongly suggestive of the condition, hence syndrome is not a good term to use.

Peyronie’s syndrome is not a disease, either

Then we come to the term Peyronie’s disease, which is not all that accurate either.  A disease refers to any condition that causes extreme pain, significant organ or system dysfunction, social problems, and even death, and is usually acquired through direct or indirect transmission or communication from one person to another.  Of course, there are many definitions and ways of looking at what constitutes a disease, but that is generally acceptable in most cases.

Since Peyronie’s disease seldom causes extreme pain, and sometimes no pain at all, it does not fulfill that requirement.   Since the genitourinary system of which the penis is only a part continues to function, and the penis continues to carry urine and oftentimes is still capable to function sexually, it does not fulfill the requirement of loss of function.  While having a bent penis plays havoc with the man who has it, and the woman or women he is sexually active, it does not affect society as a whole, the way actual diseases like the flu or measles, syphilis, tuberculosis or alcoholism do.  Peyronie’s disease is not fatal, except to some couple’s sex life, so it also does not fulfill that part of the requirement.  And lastly, this problem is not communicated or transmitted from one person to the next; you cannot catch Peyronies.

When referring to Peyronie’s disease it is more accurate and fair to use other terms like “condition,” or the more descriptive terms that follow in this list.  These are more clinically accurate names that have been collected and were taken from the PDI website:

  1. Indurato penis plastica
  2. Chronic cavernositis
  3. Fibrous sclerosis of the penis
  4. Fibrous cavernositis
  5. Fibrous plaques of the penis
  6. Penile fibrosis
  7. Penile fibromatosis
  8. Penile induration

This list of descriptive terms was taken from the PDI website where the basics of Peyronie’s disease are discussed at length.  If you wish to learn more about this condition, called Peyronie’s disease, please review this additional information.  But whatever you do, do not call it Peyronie’s syndrome, OK?

Peyronie’s Disease Institute Survey

PDI has conducted an online survey asking many questions concerning various aspects of health and habits of men who have Peyronie’s disease.   This survey has changed slightly over the five years it has been conducted.  These changes and additions have been in response to emerging trends of information about Peyronie’s disease treatment and the men who have this problem.

Many of you blog readers have completed the Peyronie’s Disease Institute’s symptom survey, and for that I thank you.  For those who have not answered that survey, I encourage you to do so at Peyronie’s survey.

The value of contributing to the survey has been proven in many ways. In fact, it was the strong trend of digestive symptoms that many men with Peyronie’s disease indicated in the survey, that prompted interest in looking at this as a possible direction of additional care.  As a result, the inclusions of the dietary therapy concepts were developed that are now a part of the PDI treatment format.  For complete details of those dietary suggestions to reduce stress upon the digestive tract in men with Peyronies, please refer to the large chapter in “Peyronie’s Disease Handbook” that is available at Peyronie’s Disease Handbook

I continue to monitor and assess the answers from the PDI survey daily.   There are several different trends (low back flexibility, circulation of the hands, cold sores and production of stomach hydrochloric acid) that I continue to monitor.  In addition, there are a few larger patterns taking shape as the numbers of survey responses continues to grow with each passing day.

As a side note concerning the PDI survey, if there is anyone out in the large audience of this blog, who has some insight or nagging question about the cause or treatment of Peyronie’s disease and would like to submit a question for possible inclusion in the Peyronies survey, please submit it here to the Peyronie’s forum blog.