Cancer Overview of Cancer Cancer is the out-of-control growth of cells in your body. Cells are the tiny building blocks of your body. Cells specialize in what they do. For example, your intestines have muscle cells to... read more is the out-of-control growth of cells in your body. Cells are the tiny building blocks of your body. Cells specialize in what they do. Different organs are made of different kinds of cells. Almost any kind of cell can become cancerous.
What is penile cancer?
Penile cancer is skin cancer Overview of Skin Cancer Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Skin cancer is most common among people who work or play sports outside and among sunbathers. Fair-skinned people are particularly susceptible... read more on your penis.
Penile cancer is uncommon and happens mainly in men who aren't circumcised (still have foreskin)
Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) Genital Warts HPV is a virus that causes warts. There are many types of HPV. Some types of HPV cause warts on your skin Other types of HPV cause warts on your genitals (genital warts) Some of the types of... read more raises the chance of having penile cancer
It usually happens on the tip of your penis (the glans) or under your foreskin
Penile cancer is usually treated by doing surgery, but very small cancers may be treated with lasers or cream
What causes penile cancer?
Risk of penile cancer is increased by:
Infection with HPV (a common sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer Cervical Cancer Cervical cancer develops in the cervix (the lower part of the uterus). Most cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Cervical cancer usually results from infection... read more in women and genital warts Genital Warts HPV is a virus that causes warts. There are many types of HPV. Some types of HPV cause warts on your skin Other types of HPV cause warts on your genitals (genital warts) Some of the types of... read more )
Not being circumcised—circumcision is surgery to remove the foreskin from the penis
What are the symptoms of penile cancer?
At first, just a small red patch
A sore that doesn't heal
An area that's hard to the touch
A wart-like growth
When penile cancer is more advanced, you may have a larger sore or growth.
If the cancer has spread, you may get hard lumps in your groin.
How do doctors tell if I have penile cancer?
Doctors will examine you and do:
A biopsy (taking out part of the tissue to look at under a microscope)
If you have penile cancer, doctors may do other tests, such as CT scan Computed Tomography A CT scan uses a large machine shaped like a large donut to take x-rays from many angles. A computer then takes the x-rays and creates many detailed pictures of the inside of your body. Each... read more and MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) MRI is a test that uses a machine with a powerful magnet to make pictures of the inside of your body. A computer records changes in the magnetic field around your body. The computer then uses... read more , to see if the cancer has spread.
How do doctors treat penile cancer?
When they're first found, most penile cancers are small and haven't spread. For these small cancers, doctors will:
Have you apply a special cream
Do surgery or use a laser to remove the cancer and some of the tissue around it
For larger cancers, doctors do surgery to remove the cancer. Doctors try to take away as little of the penis as possible. However, bigger and more aggressive cancers need more extensive surgery.
Will I be able to pee (urinate) and have sex after getting treatment for penile cancer?
It depends where the cancer is on your penis and how advanced it is. With early, small cancers near the tip, you usually can use the remaining penis to pee and have sex.