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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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September 2003

Q. I am a 14-year-old male and I can't fully retract my foreskin. I saw my doctor about it and she told me to work on it and I may not need any surgical treatment. The last time I was trying to retract it I found large deposits of smegma. Should I worry about penile cancer? What other health issues should I worry about involving this? Should I consult my doctor about this?

A. You would do well to consult your family doctor or a urologist regarding your specific concerns. You have not had any of the more serious problems that can occur from a tight foreskin such as phimosis (non-retractable) or infection.

It is not uncommon at your age for the foreskin to not fully retract, so this may improve over time. There is still debate over health risks in circumcised versus uncircumcised males. Your physician can advise whether any further treatment is needed at this time.



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