What You Need to Know About Cancer of the Penis
Penile cancer is a rare disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the penis. Fewer than one man in 100,000 in the United States is diagnosed with it each year.
What is Penile Cancer?
The penis is the male organ responsible for sexual function and urine evacuation. Penile cancer can arise from the foreskin, head of the penis or the shaft. The most common type of penile cancer is squamous cell carcinoma.
What are the symptoms of Penile Cancer?
You may experience the following common symptoms:
- Raised lesion on the foreskin/head or shaft
- Penile pain
- Difficulty retracting foreskin in patients who are uncircumcised
What causes Penile Cancer?
Various risk factors have been identified including smoking, being uncircumcised, poor hygiene and environmental exposures.
How is Penile Cancer diagnosed?
What to know before your visit to MidLantic Urology in Philadelphia and surrounding counties:
- During your visit, your doctor will ask you questions regarding your medical history and will perform an exam with focus on the abdomen, groin, and genitalia
Other tests that may be performed during or after your visit:
- Blood work
- CT Scan or MRI imaging may be obtained
- A biopsy of lesion may be performed either under local anesthesia in the office or in the operating room.
How is Penile Cancer treated?
Some penile tumors can be managed with topical agents after a biopsy has been performed.
Most penile tumors will require local excision, which may or may not include circumcision. For low grade or small lesions, local excision, laser therapy, or Mohs surgery may be employed. In patients with large or invasive tumors, partial or total penectomy (partial or total removal of the penis) may be required. Sampling of the lymph nodes in the groin may be required in more advanced cases, which may be performed with open surgery or laparoscopically.