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Penile Cancer

Penile cancer is a malignant growth found on the skin or in the tissues of the penis. Around 95% of penile cancers are squamous cell carcinomas which arise from normal skin.

Penile cancer risk factors

  • Being age 60 or older.
  • Having phimosis – a condition in which the foreskin of the penis cannot be pulled back over the glans.
  • Having poor personal hygiene.
  • Having many sexual partners.
  • Having human papillomavirus infection (HPV).
  • Using tobacco products.

Penile cancer symptoms

Signs of penile cancer include:

  • Redness of the penis.
  • Rash on the penis.
  • Foul smelling discharge from the penis.
  • Pain in the penis.
  • Growth or sore on the penis that doesn’t heal within four weeks (may look like a wart, ulcer or blister), may or may not be painful.
  • Bleeding from the penis or from under the foreskin.
  • Change in color of the penis
  • Inability to retract the foreskin.

How is penile cancer treated?

Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options. The prognosis and treatment options depend on the following:

  • The stage of the cancer.
  • The location and size of the tumor.
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has come back.