Wayne Martin, now 31, has lost most of his penis after being diagnosed with sqaumous cell carcinoma, which invaded his urethra and shaft and subsequently became penile cancer.
He was given the all-clear in January this year and has now decided to share his story in a bid to warn other young men that, though the rare disease is often found in older patients, it can affect them too.
Martin, who can no longer have full penetrative sex, is believed to be one of the youngest sufferers of this type of cancer. He has said it has affected his dating life.
"I found out on my 29 birthday I had penile cancer," he said.
"Symptoms had been present for approximately eight months before being diagnosed.
"I can remember it first being present around Thanksgiving 2012."
The government employee of Tallahassee, Florida, described the cut on his penis as initially being like "torn skin".
Speaking frankly about his illness, he said: "It started out like it was torn skin from rough activity, and I just treated it with some antibacterial cream and didn’t think anything of it until it started to grow.
"By January 2013, I knew I had an issue when the cut was getting larger.
"It was no longer just a rip, but had become a white mass on the bottom of the head."
Martin said the cut gradually became so agonising that he could not wear tight-fitting underwear, and had trouble using the bathroom.
He had up to five baths a day, as water was the only thing that soothed the pain.
"The area had to remain moist with creams or it would cause severe pain," he explained.
"I would often take five baths a day, which would help loosen the skin and cause less pain.
"I would have a hard time using the restroom, and wearing any underwear that was form-fitting was out of the question.
"I couldn’t stand for any article of clothing to touch my manhood. At that point, the pain had become too much to deal with."
In-and-out of accident and emergency and unemployed at the time with no medical insurance, Martin eventually went to a different doctor an hour away.
There, he was told he had one of two things – AIDS or penile cancer.
"The doctor saw me for no less than a minute and told me that I either had AIDS or penile cancer.
"He asked me when the last time I had been tested for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, and I told him that I had been tested a week before and they came back negative.
"He referred me to a dermatologist to get a biopsy, but that dermatologist was unable to get me in for two months so I reached out to a professor who knew of a free clinic.
"The clinic helped me get started, then referred me to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia."
It was at Emory University Hospital that Martin was officially diagnosed with penile cancer, and medics immediately took action.
Martin recalled: "When I was referred to Emory, my doctor informed me that he would have to do what is known as a partial penectomy to remove the tumour, which meant that I would lose most of my manhood.
"In late August of 2013, they removed it and then a month-and-a-half later I started weeks of radiation that lasted throughout the holiday season."
Though the treatment was successful and Martin is now cancer-free, he is still living with other long-term impacts of his brush with the disease.
"Due to the amount that was taken off, I am now no longer able to pee standing up, which requires that I sit to use the restroom," he said.
"I also am having frequent urinary tract and bladder infections following the procedures and treatments.
"As you can imagine, since I lost this amount of my manhood it has affected my sex life. I am no longer able to penetrate anyone.
"Mentally, I have slowly come to terms with the fact that it is just a battle scar in this journey that we call life, but in the beginning I was very depressed and moody.
"I didn’t want to be near anyone, and when I was I would break down in tears because of everything.
"The hardest part I suppose, even though I’m gay, is knowing that I will never be able to have biological children.
"I am an only child and mother passed away when I was 17, so I had always wanted to do what it took to give my father a grandchild - but now I can’t.
"This still eats at me daily if I’m being honest. I find myself wondering if I will ever find a partner in life.
"It seems that in the gay culture, all people care about these days is how skinny or muscular you are and how big your Johnson is.
"So needless to say, when I tell people my story, nine times out of 10, I never hear back from the guy because he isn’t willing to be with someone who has gone through what I have."
Martin wants to raise money for his dad who paid all his bills over the past two years. "I would have ended up homeless if it wasn’t for him," he said.