Follow-up after treatment for penile cancer
Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. Follow-up for penile cancer is often shared among the cancer specialists (oncologists), the surgeon, the urologist and your family doctor. Your healthcare team will work with you to decide on follow-up care to meet your needs.
Don’t wait until your next scheduled appointment to report any new symptoms and symptoms that don’t go away. Tell your healthcare team if you have:
- any new growth on the penis
- any new swelling of the penis
- any new swelling in the groin
The chance that penile cancer will come back (recur) is greatest within the first year, so you will need close follow-up during this time.
Schedule for follow-up visits @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Follow-up visits for penile cancer are usually scheduled:
- every 3 to 6 months for the first 2 years
- every 6 to 12 months for the next 3 years
Men who have had treatments that didn’t involve removing the penis should be followed for longer than 5 years.
During follow-up visits @(Model.HeadingTag)>
During a follow-up visit, your healthcare team will usually ask questions about the side effects of treatment and how you’re coping.
Your doctor may do a physical exam, including:
- checking the penis, groin and pelvic area
- feeling the lymph nodes in the groin
Tests are often part of follow-up care. You may have:
- blood tests
- a chest x-ray to check for cancer that may have spread to the lungs
- a CT scan to check for cancer that may have spread to distant areas in the body
- an ultrasound to check for cancer that may have spread to lymph nodes in the groin
- a fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy to look for changes in the lymph node cells
- a PET scan to check for cancer that has spread to distant areas in the body
If the cancer has come back, you and your healthcare team will discuss a plan for your treatment and care.
Alberta Health Services. Penile Cancer Clinical Practice Guideline GU-006. Alberta Health Services; 2012: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/hp/cancer/if-hp-cancer-guide-gu006-penile.pdf.
American Cancer Society. Penile Cancer. 2015: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003132-pdf.pdf.
American Society of Clinical Oncology. Penile Cancer. 2014: http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/penile-cancer.
Penis. BC Cancer Agency. BC Cancer Agency. Revised ed. Vancouver, BC: BC Cancer Agency; 2011.
BC Cancer Agency (BCCA). Cancer Management Guidelines:Penis. 2010: http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/HPI/CancerManagementGuidelines/default.htm.
Richter S, Ruether JD, Wood L, Canil C, Moretto P, et al . Management of carcinoma of the penis: consensus statement from the Canadian Association of Genitourinary Medical Oncologists (CAGMO). Canadian Urological Association Journal. 2013.