Types of penile cancer
Our treatment recommendations depend on the type of cancer. Nearly all penile cancers begin in the skin cells of the penis. Some of the types of penile cancer include:
- Adenocarcinoma, a rare type that can develop from sweat glands in the skin of the penis
- Basal cell carcinoma, a slow-growing cancer that rarely spreads to other areas of the body
- Melanoma, which starts in the cells that give skin its color
- Sarcoma, which develops in the blood vessels of the penis, smooth muscle or other tissue cells
- Squamous cell carcinoma, a slow-growing form of cancer that usually can be cured
Penile cancer surgery
If we catch the cancer early enough in the process, we may be able to remove the cancerous tissue on the penis through surgery. In some cases, we use a technique called Mohs surgery to remove the cancer from the surface of the penis, as well as a small amount of healthy tissue to make sure we don’t leave any cancerous cells behind.
If the cancer has grown into the penis, we may have to perform either a partial or total penectomy. This surgery involves removal of either part or all of the penis. Your surgeon will try to leave as much of the penis as possible.
If the cancer has spread beyond the penis, we may need to remove lymph nodes in the groin area and/or the pelvis. This can prevent the cancer from spreading farther.
Additional penile cancer treatments
Your doctor may recommend additional treatments depending on the type of penile cancer and whether it has spread. These options include: