Penis Cancer

Picture of the male reproductive system

Thinks You Didn't Know About the Penis

Penile Cancer Symptoms & Signs

Five studies on penile cancer showed only uncircumcised males developed the disease, and several investigations have reported sexually transmitted diseases occurred more often in uncircumcised males.

These and other symptoms may be caused by penile cancer. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:

  • Redness, irritation, or a sore on the penis.
  • A lump on the penis.

Penis cancer facts*

*Penis cancer facts by

  • Penis cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the penis.
  • Penile cancer is usually found on the glans or foreskin of the penis but can also occur on the shaft of the penis. Almost all penile cancers begin in the skin of the penis.
  • Causes and risk factors for developing penis cancer include human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, not being circumcised, being age 60 or older, phimosis, poor hygiene, many sexual partners, AIDS, UV treatment for psoriasis, and tobacco use.
  • Signs and symptoms of penile cancer include sores, redness, irritation, discharge, bleeding, or a lump on the penis.
  • A biopsy may be taken to determine if you have penile cancer.
  • Treatments for penile cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
  • Prognosis and treatment options depend on the stage of the cancer, the location and size of the tumor, and whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred.
  • For stage I and II penile cancer (cancer is limited only to the penis), the five-year survival rate is 85%. Once the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or lymph nodes in stage II or IV, the five-year survival rate is about 59%.

Penile cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the penis.

The penis is a rod-shaped male reproductive organ that passes sperm and urine from the body. It contains two types of erectile tissue (spongy tissue with blood vessels that fill with blood to make an erection):

  • Corpora cavernosa: The two columns of erectile tissue that form most of the penis.
  • Corpus spongiosum: The single column of erectile tissue that forms a small portion of the penis. The corpus spongiosum surrounds the urethra (the tube through which urine and sperm pass from the body).

The erectile tissue is wrapped in connective tissue and covered with skin. The glans (head of the penis) is covered with loose skin called the foreskin.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/28/2016

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