Penile Cancer is the cancer of the Penis. It is generally a rare type of cancer which affects the skin and tissues of the Penis. Penile Cancer occurs when healthy cells in the penis become cancerous and begin to grow out of control forming a tumor.

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If Penile Cancer is not treated on time then it can spread to other parts of the body like glands, lymph nodes and other organs. Around 95% of Penile Cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.

Penile Cancer Symptoms

The symptoms can be easily noticeable and typically include a lump, mass or ulcer on the Penis. In most of the cases, lump is located on the head or foreskin of the penis. Various symptoms are:

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Discharge
  • Changes in the color of the penis
  • Thickening of the penile skin
  • Bleeding
  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin

If any man experiences any of the above symptoms then he should immediately consult the doctor.

Penile Cancer Causes

There is a very high risk of Penile Cancer in uncircumcised men. This is because phimosis and smegma diseases can easily affect the conditions of penis in uncircumcised men. Other major causes are:

  • Age over 60
  • Smoking
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Living in a region with poor sanitation and hygiene practices
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Penile Cancer Diagnosis

Early diagnosis is very important to cure Penile Cancer. Cancer doctors ask for various diagnosis methods as per the symptoms seen in the patient.

    Physical Examination:

    First of all, doctor performs physical examination. In this test, doctor checks patient’s penis and inspect for the presence of any lumps, masses or sores.


    After the physical examination, if doctor is suspected about cancer then Biopsy is performed. In this test, small sample of skin or tissue from the penis is taken and finally it is analyzed for the presence of cancerous cells.


    If Biopsy analysis report shows the signs of cancer then again doctor performs Cystoscopy to check the level of cancer spread. During a cystoscopy, doctor gently inserts the cystoscope into the penis opening and through the bladder. This allows doctor to view the different areas of the penis and the surrounding structures. This test is used to determine whether the cancer has spread or not.

    Penile Cancer Types

    The two main types of penile cancer are invasive and noninvasive.

    • Noninvasive Penile Cancer: Noninvasive Penile Cancer does not spread to deeper tissues, lymph nodes and glands.
    • Invasive Penile Cancer: Invasive Penile Cancer spreads to deeper tissues, lymph nodes and glands.

    Penile Cancer Treatment

    Penile cancer treatment is mainly depending on the stages and types of penile cancer.

    Main treatments for Noninvasive Penile Cancer include:

    • Circumcision: In this treatment type, the foreskin of the penis is removed.
    • Laser therapy: High-intensity light is focused to destroy tumors and cancer cells.
    • Chemotherapy: In Chemotherapy, aggressive form of chemical drugs are used to eliminate cancer cells in the body.
    • Radiation therapy: In this therapy, High-energy radiation is used to shrink tumors and to kills cancer cells.
    • Cryosurgery: In this treatment, liquid nitrogen is used to freeze tumors and removes them.

    Treatments for Invasive Penile Cancer include major surgery such as:

    Surgery involves the removal of tumor, entire penis or lymph nodes in the groin and pelvis region. Surgery options include:

    • Excisional Surgery: This surgery is performed to remove tumor from the Penis.
    • Mohs Surgery: During Mohs surgery, thin layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains. Mohs surgery is also known as Mohs Micrographic Surgery.
    • Partial Penectomy: A partial Penectomy surgery removes part of the penis. This surgery is most effective for small tumor. If tumor is large then entire penis is removed which is known as Total Penectomy.

    Early detection of Penile Cancer is very helpful for complete recovery. Patient should not afraid of cancer instead he should take proper treatment from a well experienced cancer specialist.

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