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), not being circumcised and phimosis.

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.

Penile cancer statistics

Cancer statistics tell us how many people in Canada are diagnosed with and die from penile cancer in a certain time frame.

Medical disclaimer

The information that the Canadian Cancer Society provides does not replace your relationship with your doctor. The information is for your general use, so be sure to talk to a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your health.

We do our best to make sure that the information we provide is accurate and reliable but cannot guarantee that it is error-free or complete.

The Canadian Cancer Society is not responsible for the quality of the information or services provided by other organizations and mentioned on, nor do we endorse any service, product, treatment or therapy.

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