Penile Cancer

Risk factors and treatment options for penile cancer

Penile cancer is a rare condition in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, penile cancer accounts for less than 1 percent of cancers in American men. However, there are factors that can increase your risk for developing the disease.

Risk factors for penile cancer

Some of the characteristics that make a man more likely to develop penile cancer include:

  • Age: About 80 percent of penile cancer cases occur in men older than 55.
  • Being uncircumcised: This may be related to a condition called phimosis, in which the foreskin can become tight and difficult to contract. Uncircumcised men can have a buildup of smegma, or secretions under the foreskin. Circumcised men do not have these conditions.
  • Infection with HPV (human papillomavirus) or AIDS.
  • Smoking: Researchers believe chemicals in tobacco products can damage genes in the cells of the penis.

Penile cancer symptoms

The first sign of penile cancer that men usually notice is a penile lesion. A penile lesion is any unusual area on the skin of the penis. Penile lesions can take many forms, such as:

  • Lumps or sores
  • Rash
  • Skin that is thicker or a different color than normal
  • Small bumps

Swelling at the end of the penis or lumps under the skin in the groin area can also be signs of penile cancer. If you notice these or any other unusual changes in the penis, talk to your doctor right away.

Diagnosis and treatment of penile cancer

We start with an examination and a series of tests to diagnose penile cancer.

If you have penile cancer, we’ll discuss your treatment options and decide together on a personalized treatment plan. We offer a range of treatment options for penile cancer, including:

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