At first glance, it may appear more of an anatomical quirk than a harbinger of serious disease. But scientists have discovered that men who struggle to "shoot straight" face a significantly increased risk from several cancers.

Presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a study involving more than 1.5 million men found stark links between stomach, skin and testicular cancers and Peyronie's Disease.

Also referred to as penile fibrosis, the condition presents as curvature of the penis and affects around 155,000 male adults in the UK, the Daily Telegraph reports.

A review of patient data by Baylor College in the Houston found those with the condition are at a 40 per cent higher risk of testicular cancer, a 29 per cent higher risk of melanoma and a 40 percent increased likelihood of stomach cancer.


The team behind the disease said men with Peyronie's should be closely monitored for cancer in a bid to catch any development early, however British experts have raised doubts over the practicability of wide-scale routine screening.

The researchers conducted further genetic analysis of a father and son both suffering from Peyronie's, discovering they shared a set of genes known to predispose people to urological cancers.

"We think this is important because these conditions are largely taken for granted," said Dr Alexander Pastuszak, who led the study.

"While they're significant in the sexual and reproductive life-cycles of these patients, linking them to other disorders suggest that these men should be monitored for development of these disorders disproportionately in contrast to the rest of the population.

"Nobody has made these associations before."

Dr Pastuszak said the condition shared a common molecular pathway with Dupurytren's disease, a hand deformity, and ledderhose disease, a thickening of tissue on the feet.

Emma Shields, from Cancer Research UK, said: "It's not yet fully understood what causes Peyronie's disease and it's possible it shares some similar risk factors to cancer.

"Screening for cancer isn't always beneficial and comes with harms, so it's essential screening programmes are backed by robust evidence."