Penile cancer

What is penile cancer?

Penile cancer starts in the cells of the penis. Learn about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and risks in our guide to penile cancer.

Risks for penile cancer

Risks for penile cancer include human papillomavirus (HPV), phimosis and not being circumcised. Learn about penile cancer risk.

Symptoms of penile cancer

Symptoms of penile cancer include a growth or sore that doesn’t heal and a discoloured area on the penis. Learn about the symptoms of penile cancer.

Diagnosis of penile cancer

Tests to diagnose penile cancer, such as biopsy, are done when symptoms are present or a doctor suspects cancer. Learn about diagnosing penile cancer.

Grading penile cancer

Grading is a way of classifying penile cancer cells based on their appearance and behaviour when viewed under a microscope. To find out the grade of a tumour, the biopsy sample is examined under a microscope. A grade is given based on how the cancer cells look and behave compared with normal cells.

Stages of penile cancer

Staging is a way of describing or classifying a cancer based on the extent of cancer in the body. The most common staging system for penile cancer is the TNM system. The International Union Against Cancer (UICC) uses the TNM system to describe the extent of many solid tumour cancers.

If penile cancer spreads

Cancer cells have the potential to spread from the penis to other parts of the body where they can grow into new tumours. This process is called metastasis. The tumours are also called a metastasis (singular) or metastases (plural). Metastases are also called secondary tumours.

Prognosis and survival for penile cancer

Men with penile cancer may have questions about their prognosis and survival. Prognosis and survival depend on many factors. Only a doctor familiar with a man’s medical history, type of cancer, stage, characteristics of the cancer, treatments chosen and response to treatment can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

Treatments for penile cancer

Treatments for penile cancer include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Learn about treatment plans and options for penile cancer.

Supportive care for penile cancer

Supportive care helps men meet the physical, practical, emotional and spiritual challenges of penile cancer. It is an important part of cancer care. There are many programs and services available to help meet the needs and improve the quality of life of men living with cancer and their loved ones, especially after treatment has ended.

Research in penile cancer

Learn more about research for cancer of the penis, including new ways of diagnosing and treating, and reducing risk of this cancer.

Penile cancer statistics

Penile cancer is very rare. Learn about statistics for penile cancer in Canada.