Treatments for stage 1 penile cancer

The following are treatment options for stage 1 penile cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.


Surgery is the main treatment for stage I penile cancer. It is often the only treatment needed for stage I penile cancers.

Circumcision removes the foreskin of the penis. It may be used for penile cancer that is only on the foreskin.

Mohs surgery removes the cancer in layers, little by little, until no cancer remains.

Wide local excision removes the tumour along with a margin of normal tissue around it.

Glansectomy removes the head (glans) of the penis.

Partial penectomy removes part of the penis.

Radiation therapy

You may be offered radiation therapy for stage I penile cancer if you do not want to have surgery. Radiation therapy may be given as brachytherapy or external beam radiation therapy.

Clinical trials

Some clinical trials in Canada are open to men with penile cancer. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

Expert review and references

  • Alberta Health Services. Penile Cancer Clinical Practice Guideline GU-006. Alberta Health Services; 2012:
  • American Cancer Society. Treating Penile Cancer. 2018:
  • BC Cancer Agency. Penis. BC Cancer Agency; 2015:
  • Brosman, SA. Medscape Reference: Penile Cancer. 2015:
  • Cancer Research UK. Treatment Options for Penile Cancer. 2021:
  • PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board. Penile Cancer Treatment (PDQ®) – Health Professional Version. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute; 2023:
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network . NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Penile Cancer (Version 1.2023). 2022.
  • 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.
  • Van Poppel H, Watkin NA, Osanto S, Moonen L, Horwich A, Kataja V.. Penile cancer: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of Oncology. 2013: 24(Supplementary 6): VI115–VI124.